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Indecent Proposal
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Reviews & Ratings for
Indecent Proposal More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

An example of how some cliches still have life

Author: tmensamaster-2 from Calgary, Alberta
15 October 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before I viewed this film, I have always considered Adrian Lyne to be a sleazeball. He always has to make these, as he calls them, ''relationship dramas'': I've always just thought he made porn. I howled through '9 1/2 Weeks' , especially in the ''slide-show scene'', I think 'Fatal Attraction' has a ''kick-in-the-teeth'' ending and 'Flashdance' was pure crap. His 'Jacobs Ladder' had promise but also didn't have a satisfactory ending. I didn't think I'd ever see a good film of his till I watched 'Indecent Proposal'.

My God is the film a cliche!!! But what an effective one. The film is about a destitute couple[Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson] who accept a wager from a zillionaire[Played by Robert Redford] that Moore will spend one night with Redford for one million dollars. 'Another sleazeball plot from Lyne' I thought but decided to watch it for laughs. But I was surprised.

I was touched by this film. I know its just a cliche from beginning to end but it has life in it. Redford was the perfect pick for the millionaire[I've always considered him to be a bit shifty] and Moore and Harrelson give the best performances possible given the material. The plot is fairly 'daytime soap' stuff and it follows that kind of formula. But Lyne somehow infuses it with life and makes us care. I have to say I was touched by the ending and liked the way it was done[POSSIBLE SPOILER...Moore walking through the fog on a pier, reminding me vividly of 'Requiem for a Dream']. Even their stupid whining and moaning is compelling, in a bizarre way. I did have problems with Moore's relationship with Redford though[does she love him too?] but I didn't seem to care about it sins against logic. At the end, all I could think was ''I actually like an Adrian Lyne film !'. Give its cliches a chance and you may like it too............3 out of 4

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Don't watch this for a million dollars...

Author: jc-osms from United Kingdom
1 March 2009

Notoriously provocative film made at the apex of the "Greed is Good" culture of the late 80's / early 90's and without doubt the worst film I've ever had the misfortune to watch.

No doubt the director thought he was positing a high moral dilemma for adults but like today's version of the question which I've read more than once in celebrity interviews, which goes along the lines of "For you to collect £50 million, one unknown person in China has to die", the answer's a no-brainer and in any event totally inadequate to carry a movie. In any case, the point has been well-made before that to really hammer home the moral dilemma aspect, the Redford character should be a sleazy overweight balding slob and not a handsome, elegant Alpha male.

Add to this! direction with all the high-gloss, no-depth style of an MTV rock video, the corniest dialogue this side of "Pearl Harbour" and plain bad acting and honestly if I could have marked a "0" I would. What possessed Robert Redford to take part I'll never know, although I'm likewise unsurprised by the appearance of the over-ubiquitous Woody Harrellson and sensation-fodder Demi Moore. And just what my fellow- Scot ex-pats Billy Connolly and Sheena Easton are doing in the background is anyone's guess!

Redford sleepwalks his part like a latter-day re-run of Jay Gatsby, only without Fitzgerald's wonderful prose, Harrellson shows us the whole range of emotions from "A" to "A" (with thanks to Dorothy Parker) and Demi Moore gives another trademark drama-queen performance. I could add that I don't even get just what Redford sees in her mannish looks but to do that would suggest that the movie engaged me in some way.

Well, it didn't, it couldn't and never would. This is a movie supposedly about the abuse of power and the desperate steps to which need can drive "ordinary people" with a tacked on love conquers all ending, but in the end it's just a cheap and nasty dissertation on the subjugation of women and another excuse for Demi Moore to get her kit off.

Trust me, avoid this one at all costs.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The single worst movie I have ever seen

Author: Isak Robinson-Gilden ( from Austin, TX
4 August 1999

There is a group of five movies, all within one or two degrees of separation from one another, that I consider the five worst movies ever made. They are: Fatal Attraction, Disclosure, Showgirls, Basic Instinct, and the single greatest cinematic atrocity of all time, Indecent Proposal. Redford and Woody should be ashamed of themselves for appearing in this vapid, misogynist piece of excrement. On the other hand, Demi Moore, probably my least favorite actress of all time, is appropriately cast as the female lead. I don't think even the most gifted living writer would be capable of putting into words just how passionately I hate this movie. Long, boring, idiotic, and based on a non-issue (should a woman take a million dollars to sleep with Robert Redford?), Indecent Proposal represents everything I hate about Hollywood. And to top it off, all of the five movies listed above use racy content and an "R" rating to lure unsuspecting viewers into watching films that take an essentially puritan, prudish attitude towards sex and sexuality. Watch at your own risk. God, I hate this movie!

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Good premise, poor execution.

Author: Da reel Nick Carter
4 April 2002

This film has a premise that is good enough to get anyone talking, and a sure-fire conversation starter. 'Would you sleep with someone you dislike or don't know for one million dollars?' While the film had lots of potential, poor execution turns it into a b-grade soap-opera. The film has a great lead up, and after the proposal is made, we are really into the film, but then it falls dramatically. The last 3 quarters of the film is spent by characters whinging, complaining and regretting what they have done! The ending was so cliched it had me in tears! This has a very similar premise to 'honeymoon in vegas' which is far better. See that instead.

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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Don't Sell this one short until you Understand the reasoning.....

Author: Robert Esposito from United States
27 January 2006

Keeping personal views out of comments are what objectively reviewing a film is all about. I have to say this film is one that can pull at heart strings if you can immerse yourself in the emotion of what is actually happening. The film's premise is Love versus Money. The plot of the film is set to slowly pull you into the characters' who are presented with the temptation of the choice. Woody Harrelson really pulls off a serious character in this one. Having taken the deal from John Gage (Robert Redford) to give away his wife for one night in return for a Million dollars, Harrelson realizes too late that the choice he has made would damage the relationship beyond repair. Let me say this, watching Harrelson run to the closed door once he realizes what he has done is a powerful scene if you can put yourself in the situation. As the movie progresses it does a wonderful job of making the viewer have a hard time hating Redford's character. At times the viewer is convinced that Moore's character belongs with Redford. The movie then switches to Harrelson's character that is devastated and living on his own coping with the loss. As Moore's Character is seduced by Redford, Harrelson slips slowly into depression. Once again, the movie gives the viewer a chance to experience many different emotions. John Barry's Concerto playing throughout this movie really adds to the somber mood. A wonderful placement of this music as the characters slowly move towards the movie's end. Some good acting by all here is evident. Do not sell this movie short because on the outside it seems to be choppy. It was meant to put the viewer in all situations the characters are in. I recommend this one to anyone who is a hopeless romantic.

Best Scene: There are many…One that comes to mind is Harrelson's character reflecting on the relationship with Moore as he sits alone in his empty apartment with his dog by his side.

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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Shameful waste of talent

Author: anonymous from Gettysburg, PA
16 June 1999

Obviously, a number of agents didn't see beyond dollar signs when they signed up their clients for this 117-minute *omage* to the courtesan complex.

Sure, the film could have been alright, had the $1 million been left out of it. Seriously. The amount of the check doesn't matter,prostitution is still prostitution and no amount of "love conquers all" can change the fact that no marriage vows ever meant to imply "for richer for poorer, for pimping as in fidelity". Picture the story otherwise, though: 2 kids, flat broke, borderline "desperate" and completely stupid. They collide with wealthy business man. Kids' marriage is strained by imperfect times and the fact that the husband is something of a loser. Enter Mr. Tuxedo, oozing charm and stability -- a virtual magnet for the ticking biological clock -- and with him the wife's temptation, tensions, suspense. Whom will she choose? Maybe, under those conditions, I could actually care. As-is, frankly, Redford's selfish and manipulative playboy winds up the sympathetic character. A woman who will sell herself is just about what a guy deserves who will pimp out his wife. The indecent proposition makes the husband a TOTAL loser, deficient in every positive male characteristic, and makes the wife a cheap strumpet seduced by money rather than confused by another potential love, a woman devoid of moral center and self-respect.

All the impressive talent (acting, directing, cinematography) wasted on this film -- and it was an impressive amount -- couldn't save it from its splashy-but-too-trashy $1 million pitch line. If I see this turkey at one more bridal shower, I'm going to roast it! (Or maybe cross it with Titanic and pitch the tape in the ocean!)

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Author: Howlin Wolf from Oldham, Gtr Manchester, England.
22 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(This is an extension of an earlier review that has been resubmitted)

This film takes important questions such as "What constitutes love for your partner?" and "How important is sex in a relationship?", and treats them as glibly as if they were teledrama fodder. We never get the sense that director Lyne has pondered the issues inherent in his material; he has just gathered some nice shots and spliced them together in the hope that they will create an absorbing movie. It's not without entertainment on a superficial level, but this is generated more by how appallingly cliché the characters are than by any serious thematic exploration.

The loving couple played by Harrelson and Moore never convince. Of the 3 principles, only Redford escapes from this with any credit; but even his performance lapses into something vaguely reminiscent of "Swiss Tony" from "The Fast Show" ("Gambling is like making love to a beautiful woman for a price of 1 million dollars...")

I wanted so much to like the movie, since I'm very interested in the sexual conventions of society, and how we each trade off with one another in order to find and cultivate a respectful and invigourating relationship... However, I don't think the movie explores any of that properly, despite providing an ideal launching pad for doing so.

This is a gimmick movie that wants to ask its audience whether or not they would cheat on their partner with Robert Redford for a cool million bucks? (or Sharon Stone perhaps, to use an equivalent mid 90's sex symbol that would flip the issue... ) When you cast such sexual icons though, it immediately weakens the dilemma that's in play... It's relatively easy to assent to a Robert Redford or a Sharon Stone, because they represent a fantasy - and the film refuses to relinquish the notion of that fantasy for the duration of its entire running time. This has the effect of making it hard to play make-believe, when it comes to embracing the idea that serious ethical considerations are underfoot... Like the lucky coin in the movie, it's indicative of an already-done deal.

I feel that, in terms of the story, as much moral importance should have been placed upon the DECISION itself, besides the rendering of its consequences being employed for sentimental manipulation.

The route that the makers elected to take means that the project ends up playing out like a glossy, cheesy movie of the week, populated with several big names who were somehow unwittingly roped in... That's what some people like, I suppose, but in my opinion it seriously defaults on the complications that the initial premise should throw up...

As I said, not completely without entertainment value, but only if you treat it as exploitative trash.

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You might enjoy it

Author: slightlymad22 from United Kingdom
1 October 2014

A struggling married couple (Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson) lose all their money in Las Vegas. Whilst there, they meet a charismatic billionaire (Robert Redford) who offers them one million dollars for one night with the wife.

Demi Moore has never looked better than she did in 'Indecent Proposal' so it's easy to see why Redford would be willing to pay $1,000,000 to spend one night with her, and Redford is very charming here, despite what is a very sleazy offer.

But it's Harrelson who is the stand out performer for me, I'd only seen him in the TV show 'Cheers' and the comedy 'White Men Can't Jump' the previous year and was very surprised and impressed with his performance here as the tortured husband.

Seymour Cassel and Oliver Platt are good supporting players worthy of mention, and I must also mention the score by John Barry is hauntingly beautiful.

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An edgy, high-end mess

Author: Mr-Fusion from United States
2 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

INDECENT PROPOSAL is one of those movies that pretty much spells itself out. You know what kind of provocative early '90s movie you're getting yourself into, and it doesn't take long to put the pieces together as to how things will turn out. Young couple needs money for their dream house, meets really rich guy who wants one night with the pretty wife. Five minutes' worth of deliberation ensues before they accept the offer and then it's the bad news of distrust, infighting and marital implosion from there. What makes this movie tough to swallow is . . . well, it's mostly the script. These aren't very sympathetic characters (c'mon, Harrelson, you have a wife that looks like that and you think you'll be okay after turning her out for a million bucks? Don't be an idiot!), and it makes their choices in the film's 1st act hard to stomach. Really think you're gonna net all the money you need in Vegas? Seriously!

But the other reason is Robert Redford. He's all wrong for the part of absurdly rich and sociopathic John Gage, who buys other guys' wives like he does cigars and speedboats. The actions of this guy and the dialogue that comes out of his mouth are deplorable; but that doesn't suit Redford, whose boyish charm and likability runs completely counter to the character we're supposed to despise.

Aside from Woody Harrelson's terrifically tortured performance in this movie, INDECENT PROPOSAL doesn't have much (if anything) to offer beyond the water-cooler appeal of its taboo hook: Would you let your wife spend a night with another man so you can pay your bills? It makes for a good five-minute discussion about morals (maybe), but it doesn't support a two-hour movie. It's hard to be mad at this movie when the cards are seemingly all on the table from the get-go, but it's still an aggravating two hours. Not a fan of any of these characters, even though I'm supposed to root for Harrelson and Moore (who looks stunning in this movie), and it just feels so trashy watching this thing.


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Love sex and lies- a one time watch movie

Author: Sanjhbati M from India
3 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Indecent Proposal is a 1993 drama film based on the novel of the same name by Jack Engelhard. It was directed by Adrian Lyne and stars Robert Redford, Demi Moore, and Woody Harrelson. Plot- They are high-school sweethearts who marry and who are doing very well -- Diana is a successful real-estate agent, and David is an idealistic architect who has built a dream house by the ocean -- until the recession hits. Suddenly, David loses his job, and they can't make the mortgage payments. Dead broke, they borrow $5000 from David's father and head to Las Vegas to try to win money to pay the mortgage on their house. At first, they get $25,000 ahead -- but inevitably the house always wins, and they end up losing it all. While Diana is in the fancy casino boutique trying to lift some candy, she is spotted by billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford), who is immediately attracted to her. John invites Diana and David to an opulent party, and it is there that John offers David $1 million for a night with his wife. David is wracked by this moral dilemma, but Diana finally makes the decision on her own, with ensuing consequences for their ideal marriage and their bank account.And the what happen next ??????

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