Connie, wife of businessman Edward, begins an explosive affair with younger Frenchman, Paul, hoping for consequence-free sex, but finds it hard to keep her secret. Then Edward learns of the infidelity.
Adrian Lyne used to direct rip-offs — bludgeoning Play Misty For Me or Carnival Of Souls into Fatal Attraction or Jacob’s Ladder — but has apparently graduated to remakes. Having gone after Kubrick with Lolita, here he Americanises Claude Chabrol’s La Femme Infidele (Chabrol doesn’t get a credit until the end titles), a superbly-nuanced study in French bourgeois cruelty with a Hitchcockian suspense finale.
Though Unfaithful is scrupulously faithful to the original script, hinging its pivotal scene on the same throwaway line of dialogue, the original just doesn’t translate. This is yet another starchy, draggy Richard Gere remake of a ‘serious’ French film (see Intersection, Sommersby). Lane does fine work in a blank role, but her male leads are quietly ridiculous and Lyne’s trademarked shagging sequences (in a café toilet etc.) seem sadly tame.
Two agonising hours of material that could be told better in the first act of a Columbo episode, followed by post-violence suspense that raises a flicker of interest but leads to a flat finish.