Everyone remembers Adrien Lyne‘s Unfaithful…right? Another Manhattan infidelity drama, somewhat in the vein of Fatal Attraction and highlighted by Diane Lane‘s affecting performance as a married suburbanite having a hot affair.
The story, written by Alvin Sargent and William Broyles, Jr. and based on Claude Chabrol‘s La Femme Infidel, was about Lane cheating on mild-mannered husband Richard Gere. The hot boyfriend was played by Oliver Martinez, a young-Gere lookalike.
I happened upon a couple of YouTube clips, and the first thing that came to mind was the much-reported uncertainty and equivocating that Lyne went through over Unfaithful‘s ending. Gere kills Martinez in a fit of rage, you see, and Lyne (or the 20th Century Fox suits) wanted everything to be morally right and owned up to.
The ending implies that after much hemming and hawing Gere has decided to tell the cops that he killed the boyfriend. Which I found hugely unsatisfying.
I don’t think anyone wanted this ending. The audience, I sensed, wanted to give him a pass for bashing Martinez over the head. He could feel badly about it, of course, but the only thing people really wanted was for Gere to SKATE — to walk away and live with it. The principle was that a husband killing his wife’s boyfriend is not a good thing, obviously, but that it’s semi-forgivable. Or at least understandable.
All I know is that as the closing credits rolled I was muttering “that‘s how it ends?”