is a 2010 film by Canadian
director Atom Egoyan
, starring Julianne Moore
, Amanda Seyfried
, and Liam Neeson
. It is a loose remake of a 2003 French film, Nathalie
, which starred Gérard Depardieu
and Emmanuelle Béart.
Set in Toronto, Canada, the film follows Catherine Stewart (Moore), a successful gynecologist, who is married to David (Neeson), an opera expert with the distressing habit of flirting with virtually any other woman he encounters. Meanwhile, their son becomes increasingly difficult to control, leaving Catherine feeling alienated in her own house. After David misses a birthday party, Catherine becomes especially suspicious that he is cheating on her. This leads to the very bad idea of hiring a prostitute that she had encountered earlier (Seyfried) to test David's resolve. Soon, Chloe is graphically describing her encounters with David to Catherine. But it becomes increasingly clear that David isn't the one Chloe is interested in...
The film attracted some early notice for very tragic reasons: Liam Neeson was in the middle of filming it when his wife Natasha Richardson died in a skiing accident.
This movie provides examples of:
- All Men Are Perverts: Initially looks like this is in full effect, but scaled back a bit as David never actually cheated; he just thought about it, a lot.
- Batman Gambit: Chloe's scheme ends as soon as Catherine decides that she is done testing her husband. Chloe has to play off of Catherine's insecurity and arousal to keep it rolling.
- Bury Your Gays: The ending for Amanda Seyfried's character.
- Crucified Hero Shot: Crucified villain shot, although YMMV big time over whether she's the villain.
- Depraved Bisexual: Guess who! There's no wrong answer!
- Disposable Sex Worker: Arguably, the plot of the film. Perhaps also a meta-example, since many viewers of the film see Catherine as victimized by and justified in killing her mentally unbalanced stalker, instead of as a manipulative and selfish narcissist who kills her emotionally troubled, much younger, much poorer mistress when she becomes inconvenient. In other words, Chloe was disposable for much of the audience.
- Fanservice: While nudity is somewhat expected in an erotic thriller, Amanda Seyfried just can't seem to keep her clothes on.
- Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Deconstructed quite extensively. While Catherine is driven to find out about her husband's infidelities, she is, all the same, turned on by the recounting of the details. When David hears about Catherine sleeping with Chloe, he doesn't seem all that upset at all. Of course, he IS a man and men often like that sort of thing.
- Platonic Prostitution: Initially, Catherine pays Chloe just to meet her husband at a cafe and see if he flirts with her. Later subverted.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Natasha Richardson, Liam Neeson's wife, died while this movie was being shot. The story was altered a bit to reduce Neeson's workload.
- The Reveal: Chloe never actually met with David, and was lying to Catherine about all of their encounters.
- Stalker with a Crush: The title character.
- Television Geography: Averted. Toronto usually doubles for other cities; this time around it's playing itself.
- Egoyan has said that he intentionally set as many scenes at well-known Toronto landmarks as possible (seriously, if went to the University of Toronto or work in Downtown Toronto, you've probably walked by every filming location in the movie), in reaction to all those films shot in generic Toronto locales to hide the fact that they are in Toronto.
- The Unfair Sex: If Catherine had been a man who had an affair with someone young enough to be his daughter, only to push her out a window when she became emotionally attached and refused to take money to just go away, he would probably be much less sympathetic than she is as a woman.
- Although it's kinda debatable on whether or not Catherine, or Chloe is sympathetic. It really depends on the viewer.
- If it had been a complete gender-reversal, he would have had an affair with a young man. It's hard to say if the film would have played out the same then, or how the audience would perceive it.