Wednesday, February 3, 2010

American Romantic Drama - Unfaithful (2002)

Synopsis : Diane Lane is a wayward wife and Richard Gere is her suspicious husband in Adrian Lyne's Unfaithful. Connie (Lane) leaves her suburban home on an errand, venturing into Manhattan during a wicked windstorm. On a trash-strewn Soho street, she literally runs into Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez), a handsome young Frenchman carrying a huge stack of books. Connie has a bad scrape on her knee, and is unable to get a cab, so Paul invites her up to his apartment. Paul is quietly flirtatious as he gives Connie some ice and a bandage for her knee. Connie phones home and explains to her son, Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan), that she's running late. Before she leaves, Paul gives her a book of Persian poetry, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. She mentions the encounter in passing to Edward (Gere), her husband, but it's clear that she's obsessing about Paul, and soon she's back in the city, with a pretext for calling him up. Soon, they are lovers, and they grow bolder and bolder in their passion. Edward begins to suspect, and eventually gets a private investigator (Dominic Chianese of The Sopranos) to follow Connie. His worst fears confirmed, Edward decides to confront Paul, a decision that will come to haunt him. While the screenplay for Unfaithful is credited to Alvin Sargent (Ordinary People) and William Broyles Jr. (Cast Away), the inspiration for Lyne's film came from Claude Chabrol's acclaimed 1969 film La Femme Infidele.

Connie Sumner has a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a wonderful son, but she wants more. When she's approached one day by a handsome stranger while trying to hail a taxi, she becomes obsessed with him and eventually starts an affair. But her selfish actions soon catch up with her

Plot : Constance (Diane Lane) and Edward Sumner (Richard Gere) are a couple who live in suburban New York City. Their marriage is solid and loving but a little lacking in passion. One day, Connie journeys into the city and finds herself caught in a windstorm. As she chases after taxis, she bumps into a stranger (Olivier Martinez). They both fall and Connie scrapes her knees. The stranger offers to let her use his apartment to clean herself up. At that moment, an empty cab goes by, but Connie accepts the offer instead of heading back to the train station. The stranger introduces himself as Paul Martel, a Frenchman who buys and sells used books. Connie becomes uncomfortable and decides to leave when Paul makes small advances toward her. He lets her go but gives her a book of poetry, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, as a gift.

Later that night, Connie mentions the incident to her husband but does not elaborate. The next morning, after Edward and their son Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan) leave, she picks up the poetry book. Paul's business card falls out. She then takes the train into the city again and calls him from the Grand Central Station. He invites her over for coffee. When Connie enters Paul's apartment, he asks her to dance. She obliges and they begin flirting with each other. As the record they are dancing to begins to skip she decides that what they are doing is a mistake. Paul tells her, "There is no such thing as a mistake. There is what you do and what you don't do." Connie replies, "I can't do this," and starts to leave the building. But when she has to come back into the apartment for her coat, Paul grabs her and kisses her.

Connie and Paul begin a passionate sexual affair. Edward soon suspects something when his wife increases the frequency of her visits to Manhattan. She uses her work on a charity event as an excuse, but Edward finds holes in her stories when he speaks with mutual friends. She shows less interest in him without explicitly showcasing infidelity, i.e., removing her wedding ring to wash the dishes. Eventually, one of Edward's business partners catches a glimpse of Connie and Paul fawning over each other in a cafe and tells Edward, who hires a detective (Dominic Chianese) to follow Connie. The detective returns with pictures of Connie and Paul that devastate Edward.

Connie sees Paul with another woman and attacks him, but he denies that the woman is anyone special. She is enraged and they begin to fight in his building, but their anger quickly turns into passion. Meanwhile, Edward decides to visit Paul's apartment. Unable to get into the building, Edward walks away, barely missing seeing Connie exit the building, get into her car, and drive off. He returns moments later, enters the building when another person is leaving, and confronts Paul. Already extremely upset, he is stunned when he sees a snow globe in Paul's apartment. In a sudden moment of rage, Edward hits Paul with the snowglobe, fracturing his skull and killing him. Edward manages to clean up the blood, wipe his fingerprints from everything he has touched, and wrap Paul's body in a rug. As he works, the phone rings, and Edward hears a message from Connie saying that she must end the affair. Edward erases the message and leaves. He puts Paul's body in the trunk of his car and, later that night, drives it to a dump and leaves it among the garbage.

Later, two police detectives show up at the Sumner home. They explain that Paul's wife had reported him missing and that they had found Connie's phone number in his apartment. She claims to have met him only once, though expresses surprise that Paul was married. A week later, the detectives return and tell Connie that they have found Paul's body. She becomes very upset but repeats her earlier story and is surprised when Edward backs her up, also insisting that he never met Paul. Later that night, when Connie takes Edward's clothes to the dry cleaners, she finds the private detective's photos and realizes that Edward knows about the affair. She later concludes that Edward murdered Paul after she sees the snow globe Edward retrieved from Paul's apartment. Later, as Edward and Charlie are playing the piano in the living room, Connie wanders to the window and examines the snow globes that they have collected over the years. Underneath the globe from Paul's apartment, she discovers a hidden compartment containing a photograph of her, her husband, and their son, with an extremely heartfelt anniversary message from Edward on the back, causing a guilt-ridden Connie to cry.

Edward and Connie confront each other. She burns the photographs; he offers to turn himself in. Connie rejects this, insisting they will get through this crisis together. Later, Edward and Connie are in their car stopped at an intersection, desperately debating their next move; outside, the traffic lights change several times from red to green and back again. Ultimately, the camera pulls back to reveal their car in front of a police station.

Movie Info
Title : Unfaithful
Release : May 10th, 2002
Director: Adrian Lyne
Writer: William Broyles Jr., Alvin Sargent Michelle Monaghan
Studio:20th Century Fox
Genre:Thriller, Romantic

Movie Cast:
Richard Gere
Diane Lane
Olivier Martinez
Erik Per Sullivan
Myra Lucretia Taylor

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