Adrian Lyne’s Unfaithful (2002) is loosely based on a good 1969 Claude Chabrol film, La Femme Infidele. There are many things wrong with it, but for the most part Lyne’s directing is not one of them. He and film editor Anne V. Coates understand pacing and suspense, while actress Diane Lane understands worry and guilt.
The movie’s two screenwriters convince me, without moralizing, that adultery and existential bleakness go together. According to Mark Steyn in The Spectator, the film communicates that “sex is not just a passing fancy, but profoundly disruptive, not life enhancing but life shattering, and what’s broken cannot be remade. The fling cannot be unflung.”