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Unfaithful
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Genre:Drama
Year:2002
Rating:R
Length:2h 4mins
Cast:Adrian Lyne, Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez

The sometimes-tragic consequences of marital infidelity are effectively portrayed in this well-acted domestic drama, which represents a triumph not only for director Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction) but also for stars Richard Gere and Diane Lane. These veteran stars, whose early forays in film were distinguished at least partially by youthful exuberance and sizzling sexuality, appear as thoughtful, mature people whose lives are irremediably altered by what begins as a casual indiscretion. At first glance, Connie Sumner (Lane) seems perfectly happy: Her husband, Edward (Gere), is a capable provider and a devoted father to their eight-year-old son. She lives comfortably in an affluent suburb and finds fulfillment in charity work. But a chance encounter with a young, charismatic book dealer (Oliver Martinez) blossoms into a passionate affair that threatens to destroy her marriage. Fatal Attraction director Lyne, obviously fascinated by this subject matter, juggles Unfaithful's plot points with admirable dexterity. He doesn't minimize Lane's steamy sex scenes, but the erotic interludes aren't played for overt titillation, and they are shown to have devastating repercussions. Gere tackles his role with uncharacteristic restraint, which helps keeps the film anchored in reality; both he and Lane are superb. Fine acting and incisive direction make this one of Lyne's best efforts, and once seen it will linger in memory for a very long time. The DVD offers not only a feature-length commentary by Lyne but also some scene-specific commentaries by Lane. Eleven deleted scenes, the director's script notes, and an alternate ending are also included. Ed Hulse

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