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Film / Indecent Proposal

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"What would you do if someone offered you one million dollars to sleep with your wife?"
— The movie's Tagline

Indecent Proposal is a 1993 drama film directed by Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction, Flashdance) and starring Demi Moore, Robert Redford, and Woody Harrelson.

David and Diana Murphy (Harrelson and Moore) are a happy yuppie couple of childhood sweethearts involved in the real estate industry who run into financial trouble when the said industry undergoes downturn. They embark on a trip to Las Vegas to try and win it big, but lose everything. Just when all hope seems lost, the two encounter billionaire John Gage (Redford). Gage is attracted to Diana and thus offers the couple a proposition; he will give them one million dollars if he can spend one night with her. After much terse debate, they decide to accept, assuming it will be just sex and that they'll be able to forget about it. However, after the deed is done it turns out it isn't that easy to just pass up...

This film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Diana's character is blond in the book, but is a brunette in the movie.
  • Adaptational Heroism: All round. David and Diana are far more sympathetic and likable than the book characters Joshua and Joan. Rather than being high school sweethearts, the book couple first met and began an affair when they were both married to other people and eventually dumped their previous spouses (and, in Joshua's case, children) in order to marry each other. Their desire for the million dollars isn't even motivated by finanical desperation but by sheer greed. John Gage is also more sympathetic than his book counterpart as he is a bachelor, genuinely cares for Diana, and gets more development. The Arabian billionaire in the book had multiple wives and was using Joan partly out of pure lust and partly to score points of off Joshua.
  • As Himself: Billy Connolly, celebrity auctioneer.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: There is exactly one use of the word "fuck" in the film. As the only onscreen sex is not actually explicit, this was presumably put in there to bump up the rating.
  • Betty and Veronica: A Gender Flipped example: Diana (Archie), her husband David (Betty), and billionaire John (Veronica).
  • Break His Heart to Save Him/I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Realizing that Diana misses David and will never be truly happy with him, Gage lies to her and tells her that she was just one of many "million dollar girls". She realizes that he's doing this to make it easy for her to leave but doesn't let on.
  • Double Standard: Gage's continued pursuit of Diana following their night together (something that was contractually agreed on to be one night and no more)—showing up at her job uninvited and unannounced, manipulating situations to bring them together—is presented as adorable and playful, despite the fact that she's clearly not interested and finds his behavior upsetting. When she gets fed up and shows up at his workplace uninvited and unannounced to tell him off and demand that he leave her alone, her behavior is presented as alarming and disruptive even though she has every right to be angry with him. So a man acting like a crazy stalker is in love, but a woman acting like a crazy stalker is... a crazy stalker.
  • Fanservice: Demi Moore at her most beautiful.
  • Happily Married: Prior to meeting Gage, David and Diana are shown to be deeply in love with each other. In the end, Gage lets Diana go because he realizes that she'll never love him as much as she loves David.
  • Heroic BSoD/My God, What Have I Done?: David starts to experience both tropes shortly after leaving Diana in Gage's hotel room. They kick in full-force when he's too late to stop her from leaving with him.
  • Hollywood Law: Any contract allowing a man to spend the night with a woman would be null and void, as it is contra bonos mores (against good morals) and is tantamount to prostitution, which is illegal in all US jurisdictions barring the State of Nevada (and even there it is doubtful it would be possible to enforce such an agreement).
  • How We Got Here: The film starts with Diana sitting on the docks, waiting for David to arrive. The movie then flashes back to the events of the past few months.
  • Ladykiller in Love: It's implied that Gage was quite the womanizer, but falls for Diana precisely because she isn't impressed by his wealth—indeed, she's quite offended by his "money for sex" offer and blasts him for thinking that she or her affection is something that he can buy.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Early in the film, David and Diana make love on the floor of their kitchen.
  • Male Gaze: The camera pans up Diana's beautiful and nearly nude body as she sleeps. We soon see that David is gazing at her.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Gage.
  • May–December Romance: Gage is at least twenty years older than Diana (Robert Redford is 26 years older than Demi Moore) and he becomes a Stalker with a Crush.
  • Millionaire Playboy: Gage, again, though it's billionaire, rather.
  • Money Fetish: Diana rolls around in the couple's casino winnings on their hotel bed. David soon joins her for a lovemaking session.
  • Moving the Goalposts: When Diana finds out that Gage has bought their property, she offers him $1 million dollars for it. He tells her, "the price is two". She quickly cottons onto his game and snaps, "And if I had two million, the price would be four million."
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: David accuses Diana of being attracted to Gage and having agreed to the deal because she wanted to sleep with him in the first place. She denies it, claiming to be very upset about everything, but after some more browbeating by David, admits that the sex was good.
  • Questionable Consent: Diana and David only even consider the offer from Gage because they're broke. By the time she goes to Gage's yacht, it's only after a contract has been hammered out. Gage ups the ante by flipping a coin and telling her that if she wins, he'll void the deal. He wins and... cue Sexy Discretion Shot. At the end, it's revealed that Gage's coin is double-sided. So aside from the fact that she would never have even considered sleeping with him in the first place were it not for the money, both the contract and the coin toss leave her feeling obligated to do this.
  • Race for Your Love: David races back to Gage's penthouse to stop the liaison from happening, but he's too late as she's already been whisked away to his yacht.
  • Race Lift: Gage's character in the novel is Arabic. Also, David's name in the novel is Joshua, and he's Jewish.
  • Rejection Affection: Gage continues pursuing Diana even though she clearly finds his behavior upsetting, even flat-out telling him "I hate you" at one point. He completely dismisses this much as he's dismissed all her other rejections, telling her, "You wish you hated me." and trying to kiss her even as she's pulling away.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Gage and David, respectively.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: The basis of the plot.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The couple never uses the money that they get and by the end of the movie, David gives it all to charity. Meanwhile, Diana leaves John to return to David. Basically, they end up right back where they started at the film's beginning.
  • Wealthy Yacht Owner: Gage whisks Diana off to one of these.

Obviously, I'd sleep with her.