by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: ** (out of 5 stars)
BLURAY EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Robert Redford as JOHN GAGE
Demi Moore as DIANA MURPHY
Woody Harrelson as DAVID MURPHY
Seymour Cassel as MR. SHACKLEFORD
Oliver Platt as JEREMY
Directed by: Adrian Lyne
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Diana (Demi Moore) and David Murphy (Woody Harrelson) have been in love since high school. However, when they fall on hard times and risk their savings on a trip to Vegas, they are extended a dangerous offer. Billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford) offers the married couple a million dollars to sleep with Diana. Reluctantly, they take the offer, but the night of planned indiscretion sparks jealousy and bitter feelings. As Diana and David see their marriage crumble, they struggle to come to terms with these events.
WHAT I LIKED
“Indecent Proposal” came out in a wash of liberated sexual films of the late-80s and early-90s, including hits like “Fatal Attraction” and “Basic Instinct.” I was in my early 20s in college in those days, so I was obviously very much into watching movies about sex. There was a certain titillating value to “Indecent Proposal,” which captured Demi Moore at her most glamorous, Woody Harrelson before he became obnoxious and Robert Redford before he became too lumpy.
Probably the best contribution this film had to the greater public consciousness was that it got people to think about whether they would sleep with someone for a million bucks, or let their significant other do so. Still, I would have found it a more interesting proposal if the Robert Redford character looked like Danny DeVito.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
In the range of sexual dramas of this era, “Indecent Proposal” falls near the bottom. Although it was directed by “Fatal Attraction” auteur Adrian Lyne, this film lacked the punch and thriller elements that made that one a hit.
Part of the film’s soft-hitting nature comes from the surprising lack of sex in the movie. Sure, we get to see Demi Moore roll around half-naked in a pile of money, but there’s less sensuality and more awkward moments with blurry close-ups, forced eroticism and people doing it in their underwear.
The core of any film is its characters, and the ones in “Indecent Proposal” just don’t cut it. Demi Moore character comes across as clueless about how this behavior could torpedo their marriage. Woody Harrelson’s character embodies all the nasty emotions of a man with too much testosterone (needless jealousy, rage and greed). And Robert Redford’s character is a dichotomy, a ruthless businessman at one point and then a creepy father figure with a heart.
The film looks pretty slick, but like “The Bodyguard” which was a similar contemporary hit of the day, the spark just isn’t there.
Adrian Lyne provides a director’s commentary from a previous DVD release. And while the film looks impressive and crisp on the new Blu-ray transfer, there’s not enough bells and whistles to warrant much more than a high-def glance.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of the sensual films of the early 90s.