This week:

Filthy says:
"Like an expensive hooker: good looking with simple morals."

I think every married person thinks about cheating on his or her spouse. Maybe you flirt with the girl that sells muffins at work, or as often happened when I was working at the Ralston Amoco, you're one of those ladies that hands her panties to that rugged pump jockey with the lingering masculine scent of gasoline about him. That never happened to me; all I ever got was once this really pretty girl in a Jeep leaned her head out the window, pulled me close and then threw up on my shoes. But my coworker Roy got lusty glances, phone numbers and the occasional manicured hand down his pants. Roy had what we calla fuckface. That's why he moved on to big things modeling boots in the Wal-Mart circular and I'm here in my basement wishing I had some of those boots, or at least the ad so I could see how much they cost. It could have been the other way around and I could be the supermodel if I had taken better care of my acne as a teen and my gut as an adult.

My point is that marriage means temptation. You commit your heart and soul to one other person, but that doesn't mean that you don't sometimes feel like a bass in a bathtub full of irresistible Banjo lures. We all have our moments of temptation. Mine usually come around one a.m. on a Saturday night at the Tavern, when I am wired from second-hand nicotine, sedated through a haze laid on by pitcher after pitcher of Budweiser, and filled with so many bad ideas that they can't help but spill out. The Harelip is dancing on the pool table, her too-short polyester dress creeping up her thighs with every shake. She's gyrating faster and hotter and the dress rises higher and higher. The drunken part of me hopes the dress keeps slinking upward but the sober part hopes to God that it doesn't. I'm afraid her nether-region is like the Lost Ark, and once open, it will melt the faces off of everyone watching.

That's my weakest moment, and it happens every Saturday night. When her thumbs hook into the stretch material and drag it over her sharp hip bone, the Harelip's skin feels so close and so tangible. In my drunken stupor, I think I want her touch, that her relief would be like the solution to a Navier-Stokes equation, so unattainable yet so desperately sought.

As right as it feels at that moment, though, I don't try to catch her eye because I remember everything that can be undone in that moment. Sure, three minutes of humping up against the grease bin would be a little slice of heaven, but I already have a plus-sized slice of heaven waiting at home. I need Mrs. Filthy more than anything because when nobody else does, she trusts me. Even when she knows I'm lying, she trusts me. I would do anything for her, even take out the garbage eventually and nothing would break my heart more than breaking her heart. I never want to lose her trust, because even when I only have 84 cents in my pocket, I still have that.

I'm not trying to preach to anyone and I'm certainly no moral authority. Hell, my moral compass is less likely to piont the right direction than one of those 99-centers you buy for your dashboard at AutoZone. I'm just explaining why I would never break my marriage vows. It's not because I love my wife, it's because I'd be ruined if she didn't love me.

I guess what I'm getting at is that infidelity is not something people enter into lightly; we all have a complex and unique set of reasons to stay true. That is, unless there's a screenwriter involved. In that case, as is with Unfaithful, all it takes is a cheesy French lothario (Olivier Martinez) to get an apparently happily married lady (Diane Lane) to drop her panties and play horny housewife. And the consequences aren't as simple as a broken heart or a busted home. They are, of course, murder.

Lane is married to a rich executive (Richard Gere) and they live in a fabulously huge house on a lake north of New York City. They have a precocious son (Erik Per Sullivan), fancy cars and a maid. Lane and Gere's marriage has settled into a routine. He wins the bread, she does the busy work of a rich lady, arranging charity events and hosting elaborate birthday parties. One day, while in Manhattan buying birthday decorations, the wind knocks her into book dealer Martinez. She is immediately smitten by him, and he is neither smitten nor disgusted. He's just a sex cipher, existing for no other reason than to be sexy and seduce.

Before long, Lane's sneaking around, leaving out lingerie in front of her husband and telling transparent lies so that she can go into the city and make flippy-floppy in his attractive Soho flat, among stacks of musty books and incomplete sculptures of ponies. The lies catch up to her and her husband tracks Martinez down. In an unplanned rage, he kills Martinez and then tries to cover it up. After the murder, Lane and Gere have to sift through the rubble of their marriage. They both know what the other has done and it goes unspoken in hopes of returning to some sort of normalcy.

Credit Director Adrian Lyne for making an adult picture. There were a buttload of teenagers at the screening I saw, but they were sorely disappointed by Unfaithful's lack of teenagers fucking pies. This story is not spectacular, there are no big set pieces and the central murder is not sensational. Everything has the muted, hushed tones of adults talking at a child's funeral. It's extremely serious. The movie's look matches the material perfectly. It's beautiful and warm in grays, browns and bathed in yellow light. But like the living room nobody ever uses, it isn't lived in; it's just meticulously put together. The story moves at a snail's pace with the camera doing a fuzzy close-up of every possible object that may have some symbolism. Lots of rushing water, trains moving, books and other shit like that. I didn't know what the hell all of it meant, but the camera spent so much time on objects that I knew they must be important.

Diane Lane is outstanding as the just-shy-of-middle-age-but-still-hot woman. She is good looking, but in an intelligent way that appeals to the thinking-man's pervert. It's not the plastic fuckability of Heather Graham or Denise Richards. Unfortunately, she is given a narrow range to emote in, but she makes her cheating heart almost sympathetic. Lane's naked plenty and she actually got my loins twitching in a pretty cheesy Red Shoes Diary style stairwell sex scene.

It's too bad the performance is wasted in such a simplistic and unappetizing morality play. Lane is made unintentionally unlikable because she so easily slips into an affair with Martinez. I could see a smart woman falling for a complex man who has profound thoughts and a large collection of back issues of Juggs, but Martinez isn't even a character. He's just the guy off the cover of a Harlequin Romance. You know, the guy with the torn shirt who is holding the fainting woman? Martinez is a sexy Frenchman in a huge, sexy flat, who recites sexy poetry in a sexy accent. There is a sexy haze in his room, and he sexily never has to work. He simply exists as an insecure screenwriter's compendium of what women want . I can't imagine any lady in real life being so easily seduced by so superficial a character.

Gere is bland in his typically creepy way. It's as though he is working really fucking hard to get us to see his inner spirit when a little emotion would have done the job. It hurts that his character is a rich suburban dad from central casting, written as flat as possible in order to maximize the contrast with his explosive moment of violence. The character never has a chance to gain our sympathy before he murders Martinez and is too big a fucking pussy to confess. By the end, he's as yucky as Lane and Martinez, crushed skull and all.

For a message movie, Unfaithful is pretty pointless. Sure, homicide is great drama, but it turns a story about the subtle impacts of infidelity into a movie about murder and getting away with it. Why wasn't infidelity enough? The story stops being something we can relate to and becomes just another Hollywood "psychological thriller" where murders are as common as STDs on the Attitude Lounge's toilets.

For the movies' last hour, we're left watching two weak people snivel and cower and work hard to protect their superficial suburban life. I didn't want to root for them, and I didn't care that they were going to be unhappy. They're jerks and they deserve to be miserable, and I didn't need two hours and a murder to tell me so.

Three Fingers for Unfaithful, mostly for Lane's performance, the decent sex scenes and Hollywood's willingness to make a movie for adults. The moral is trite: infidelity is bad. I'm not sure why Hollywood has to keep reminding itself.

Want to tell Filthy Something?

Filthy's Reading
Tom Wolfe - The Pumphouse Gang

Listening to
Velvet Underground- White Light/White Heat


Paul Clinton of CNN for his quote-ready blurbs

Spider-man"is guaranteed to blow you away!"

Ice Age is "the funniest movie this year!"


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