Adrian Lyne’s Unfaithful often ends up in the bathroom.
I’m always on the lookout for domestic thrillers with weird bodily fluid obsessions, so naturally the toilet fixation in Adrian Lyne’s 2002 film, Unfaithful, caught my attention. A remake of Claude Chabrol’s La femme infidele and Lyne’s last film to date, the film opens with a prolonged peeing shot and closes with a wet bed. In between, there are enough scenes shot in the WC to make anyone regret having chugged down a bottle of Aquafina before pushing play.
But then, this is a film about the emotional incontinence of the bourgeoisie. Connie Summers (Diane Lane) is a gorgeously middle-aged suburban housewife who begins an affair with young French Lothario Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez) after being literally swept into his arms while shopping on a blustery day. Lane’s superb, slow-burning performance earned her an Oscar nomination and several other screen-acting awards; her face, often shot in extreme close-up, is so sensitive and vulnerable that her jowly husband Edward (Richard Gere, who put on weight for the role at Lyne’s insistence) looks positively opaque by comparison. Midway through the film, the perspective shifts from Connie to Edward, and from one type of incontinence—Connie’s lust—to another—Edward’s rage, which erupts into violence. The melodrama becomes a domestic thriller, though a reluctant, murky one that focuses more on the crime’s emotional consequences than its legal ones. Read More