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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chloe (**1/2)

CHLOE

** SPOILERS **

If everyone wouldn't mind, before I start this Chloe review proper, I'd like to just have a quick word with the fellas reading: 

Dudes, Amanda Seyfried is naked in this. She's so naked. Not just once, like three or four times. And not just in the beginning either, but all throughout, even in the last act. Julianne Moore is naked too. I know, who cares. But then they get it on. That's right, they have lesbian sex together. For reals, yo. Trust me on this, the Blu-ray is gonna be worth it. Oh shit, the other people are waiting...

Now then. In Atom Egoyen's beautifully shot, complex, elegant and intriguing, then frustrating and maddening Chloe, Amanda Seyfried is an escort who is drawn into the fractured marriage of Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson. Neeson is a successful, charming professor with an eye for the ladies (he's quick to point out hookers are people too) whom Moore suspects is cheating on her. To prove it, she recruits Seyfried to seduce her husband and report back all of the sordid details. The plot is very similar to what Jason Bateman does in Extract, with less amusing results. Moore is genuinely surprised by how aroused she becomes when Seyfried details all of Neeson's comings and doings. Moore is even more surprised by how attracted she becomes to Seyfried; the attraction is more than mutual. And then it gets even stranger. Neeson and Moore also have a petulant teenage son who's really more of an obnoxious plot device than anything else. The son is awful, but the performances from the three leads are very strong. Chloe works well for the first half as Moore struggles with the complicated moral and ethical dilemma she puts herself in. Seyfried tempts, pouts, teases, dazzles, lusts, and arouses admirably. When Chloe puts Seyfried's ripe radiance front and center, her stunning beauty distracts from the unseemliness of the story. I don't know how this story would have best been resolved, but the third act turn Seyfried takes (she lied about all of her interludes with Neeson, she's obsessed with Moore, and she's also full on bonkers, showing up like a deranged ex-lover at Moore OB/GYN clinic - before seducing Neeson and Moore's son), pretty much sucked. The "happy ending" final scene is bizarre and terrible, and the entire third act felt like the writers just gave up and literally tossed Chloe out the window.

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