Infidelity never ends well in the movies. People get hurt, bunnies die and feminists get angry, not to mentioned that there’s at least one inevitable death. With Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby being released today and all, and seeing as two of the two marriages mentioned in the work are affected by extramarital affairs, we decided to point out the Top Five Doomed Love Affairs In Film.
Stephen Flemming (Jeremy Irons) and Anna Barton (Juliette Binoche) were a wrong fit right from the start. He was a government official with a loving family, and she was his son’s fiancee. The smoke signals were all there, but they were not enough to keep them apart. Louis Malle‘s Damage is about much more than infidelity. It’s about obsession, and Malle does a great job showing the magnetic attraction between these two impossible characters.
To quote Kanye West, “The prettiest people do the ugliest things.” In Mike Nichols icy drama Closer, four attractive actors play loathsome characters who do horrible things to each other. This is the story of two men and two women with overlapping love lives; we see them fall in and out of love, and how they eventually come to hate each other after all of the cheating and betraying. There was no way that any of these relationships could’ve succeeded since they were all rooted on lies.
3. Match Point
Woody Allen‘s salty drama shows us that we better be careful what we wish for. In Match Point, Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays a tennis pro who has passionate affair with his brother-in-law’s girlfriend, played by Scarlett Johansson. Like most affairs, the whole thing spirals out of control, but not in typical fashion. Allen plays with a lot here, but it’s most interesting to see how quickly Meyer’s character loses interest in the affair once she begins to show that she can’t live without him. Match Point is a very well-done thriller, with unexpected twists and turns, and great acting. It’s definitely one of Allen’s best recent works.
2. The Graduate
Before Closer, Mike Nichols gave us The Graduate. Starring Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft and Katherine Ross, this 1967 film perfectly captures the isolation of a generation through a twisted love affair. Though Benjamin (Hoffman) and Mrs. Robinson (Bancroft) are from different age groups, they connect through boredom and feelings of indifference. Benjamin distracts himself with the affair, putting off his future, but when Elaine (Ross) comes into his life, reality hits him, and he realizes he’s messed up. The affair in The Graduate is an accessory to a much bigger issue (one of a whole generation), but it’s still one of the most memorable affairs in film history.
1. Fatal Attraction
No other film teaches us that infidelity is a bad, bad thing better than Adrian Lyne‘s Fatal Attraction. What begins as an ordinary extramarital fling quickly develops into the nightmare from hell for Michael Douglas‘ Daniel, who was merely looking for someone to enjoy his weekend with. Unfortunately, the woman who caught his eye was looking for something a little more serious. Fatal Attraction is the original stalker film thanks to its well-written script and great acting. Glenn Close gave an iconic performance as Alex, the insane stalker who boils a bunny, tries to commit suicide and sort-of kidnaps a kid. She might’ve not won the Oscar for her role, but she sure did help save a lot of marriages.
Have any doomed love affairs we missed? Which film did you enjoy most?