Friday, April 2, 2010

CHLOE (2010)

Written by Erin Cressida Wilson

Directed by Atom Egoyan

Where & When: AMC Century City 15, Century City, CA. April 2, 2010 5:05PM

"Chloe" is another foreign-language film that has been remade for American audiences and once again it has been translated very, very poorly. This film, based on the 2004 French film, "Nathalie", follows the same basic plot but loses all of the style and subtlety of the original.

Catherine (Julianne Moore) and David (Liam Neeson), a couple who live in Toronto, Canada and have been married for many years. She is an OB-GYN and he is a college professor and they have a teenage son, Michael (Max Thieriot). They live in a beautiful home and their lives appears to be perfect. David is turning 50 and Catherine decides to throw him a surprise birthday party. David teaches at a college out of town so he needs to fly back home. All of the guests are waiting for David's arrival when he calls Catherine and tells her he missed his flight and won't home until late.

David is home in the morning and apologizes for missing the party. David's cell phone goes off and Catherine decides to check it. She sees a text that says, "Thanks for great evening" and attached is a photo of David with an attractive girl. Catherine is now suspicious and thinks her husband may have missed his flight intentionally to carry on with an affair.

Catherine has seen a young woman that lives near her office and later discovers that she is a prostitute. She runs into her at restaurant and decides to hire her to do a job. Blond, buxom and beautiful, Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) seems like the perfect choice to try and seduce Catherine's husband to see what he will do and to test his fidelity. She gives Chloe instructions on where she could meet her husband and to report back to her all of the details.

After she meets with David, Chloe tells Catherine that nothing much happened but he did say that he was very attracted to her. Disturbed by this news, Catherine wants Chloe to meet with her husband again to see if he will act on this desire.

This time when Chloe reports in, she informs Catherine that they had a sexual encounter. Catherine is upset but wants her to tell her about it. Chloe proceeds to go into the event in detail that is in bizarrely tame language for what is supposed to be an erotic thriller.

Catherine finds herself jealous but also somewhat sexually aroused. She still wants Chloe to continue seeing her husband and informing her about their trysts but soon, Catherine discovers that not everything is at all what they appear to be. Catherine gets herself wrapped up in Chloe's desires and things spiral out of control and places her family in danger.

I knew that the American remake of an interesting but very French film was going to get the Hollywood treatment but I had hoped that with a talented director like Mr. Egoyan that it wouldn't get too dumbed down but I was very wrong. "Chloe" is a film that plays like one of those soft-core porn movies shown on late night cable except with better actors and a lot less sex. This version follows the original film fairly closely in the beginning but by the end, out of nowhere, it veers into "Fatal Attraction" territory. This should be a psycholgical, sexual thriller but instead we have an overcooked, soap operatic, cheesy drama. It's a complete mess and it doesn't make any sense.

All of the actors are fine and do their best to try and elevate the material but that really should have been done to this script before they showed up to work.

Do yourself a favor and skip "Chloe" and go rent the original, "Nathalie".