Although the premise of infidelity and its devastating consequences on all involved may not be a new one, Unfaithful
still manages to emerge as a stylish, involving thriller. Based on an obscure 1970s French offering, director Adrian Lynne's version is pure Hollywood, from its casting of Richard Gere and Diane Lane in the lead roles, to its graceful visual style and even its somewhat unsatisfactory denouement. It's impossible not to watch the film without thinking of Lynne's own Fatal Attraction
, although here the gender roles have been reversed to focus on the affair between bored suburban housewife Connie and exotic French book dealer Paul. The obsessive relationship between the two provides the film with its only real frisson. Gere is given very little to work with as the dull cuckolded husband Edward and delivers even less. The film moves rather slowly towards its key plot twist which never really lives up to its promise.
On the DVD: Unfaithful may be lacking a little as a film, but this DVD is an impressive package. The film has a rich visual element and the digital picture quality brings out the best in Adrian Lynne's unique eye for detail. The reams of extras include commentaries from director Lynne and the cast, a well put together documentary, interviews, features, deleted scenes and a (superior) alternative ending. Lynne is always good interview value, coming across as a slightly less eccentric Ken Russell, and Lane and Olivier Martinez are both engaging and charismatic. A shame, then, that the movie itself isn't quite so impressive. --Phil Udell