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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.
*** 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?
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.
After falling in love with the soundtrack before watching the film, I
was already anticipating a good sob-fest!
John Barry captures the delicate emotions with his score in a simple melody that will play in my head for days to come. Demi Moore's performance is just brilliant! The way she and Woody bounce off each other truly makes you believe their relationship is solid. A different approach to any other love story I've seen, exploring issues of trust, power and money in new ways that make you look at things with a new perspective.
Overall, a very lovely film with a perfect ending, turning an old movie into a new favourite!
How do you think you'd react to this situation?
This film is definitely worth a watch... Grab a bucket of ice-cream and a glass of wine and don't expect a blockbuster... this story is a gentle ride for those can that find romance in the most unlikely places - like a pair of pants burning on a stove!
This movie would be realistic only if the wealthy person offering the
indecent proposal was Ernest Borgnine rather than Robert Redford.
The setup where the couple get into 'hopeless' debt shows the short sightedness and "want it now" of American society. The get-rich-quick approach is also endemic of modern Americans. That part of the script was believable.
However, to be realistic - when they went to LV to win money (yup, everybody wins a ton of money in Vegas) - they should have lost it all and wound up prostituting themselves for food money. Having Robert Redford offering a million dollars - OY! - I laughed out loud when that hit the screen.
Diana (Demi Moore) and David Murphy (Woody Harrelson) are high school
sweethearts and married couples. He's an architect and she's a real
estate agent. When a recession hit, the bank calls in their loan and
they are set lose their home. They go to Vegas to win the needed cash.
Diana catches the eye of billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford). At
first they win, but eventually they lose it all. Gage starts to worm
his way into their relationship ending up with the indecent proposal.
The premise is all titillation and no drama. Moore and Harrelson play up the romance as best they could, but there is a lot of cheese in the style. I didn't care for the voice over narrations. Most of it was unnecessary. Director Adrian Lyne seems to do a lot of these sexually provocative movies. He does so sincerely that he's always in danger of a high cheese factor. Another major problem is that the movie's obvious premise forces the audience to wait for Redford's big question. It's very tiresome waiting for it, and it's tiresome to listen to discussions about it. Then there is the ick factor in the story. I'm not a prude but it's just annoying having Oliver Platt yammer on and on. Then Woody Harrelson turn on the jealous acting to full. The emotions from the couple rings all wrong. It's very melodramatic. The best thing here is the suave Robert Redford. He manages to do this character without blinking. That's real commitment to acting.
The most notable thing about Indecent Proposal is the appearance of
Robert Redford in a kind of villainous role. He's the man who makes the
Indecent Proposal to Demi Moore to spend a night of nights. She and
husband Woody Harrelson will get a really large sum of money, more than
enough to take them out of financial quagmire they're in as a result of
the boom of the Eighties souring off during the presidency of Bush 41.
Back during the reign of Charles II and other monarchs in other countries were guilty of the same thing, Charles as we know had a voracious sexual appetite. Husbands regularly pushed their wives on to the King's attention in hopes of advancement. And Charles himself married off many a discarded mistress. The fabulously wealthy Redford no doubt sees himself with that same kind of power.
But an example closer to Hollywood would involve the triangle of David O. Selznick, Jennifer Jones, and her first husband Robert Walker. When Selznick was smitten with Jones he never let the fact that she was already married deter him a bit. He courted her in a similar manner that Redford courts Moore. Who could resist and her this millionaire has the looks and charm of Robert Redford. What's someone like Harrelson to do?
I'm sure the fact that he was not playing a good guy is what perked Redford's interest in this part. He does it well, but his public sure never wanted him in these kinds of roles.
The three stars all do well in this film. Indecent Proposal asks some very disturbing questions about the price and value of human beings.
Since the beginning of civilizations or even before, people were
putting monetary value on everything they could. After a while, people
began to realize a concept that everything was for sale for a certain
amount depending on the individual. In a nut shell, what is your price
for something you cherish deeply? In the early nineties, the
blockbuster film Indecent Proposal challenged the aged-old question.
David (Woody Harrelson) and Diana Murphy (Demi Moore) was a happy and regular middle class couple. The only problem they had was a relatively big one. The recession had left them both financially strapped. They were facing foreclosure on their current home and the home of their dreams they were building (Lansing & Lyne, 1993). In an effort to pay off their debts, they decide to go to Las Vegas to get quick money (Lansing & Lyne, 1993). In the casino, they meet John Gage (Robert Redford) a billionaire, playboy. After a short game of pool, he makes an offer of 1 million dollars to spend a night with Diana (Lansing & Lyne, 1993). The money was more than enough to pay off their debts and live well, but they would have to sell a piece of their soul for it. Thus a deal with the devil.
In the film, there are various themes throughout. For one, the love and happiness of David & Diana Murphy is universal, and it can be understood by pretty much everyone (Boggs & Petrie, 2008). In addition, the heartbreak of the Murphy couple is universal as well. Likewise, the theme of human dignity is a major element in this film, because the characters are challenged figuratively to stand erect and morally, too (Boggs & Petrie, 2008). As the characters Diana, David and John try to move forward after the one-night deal, it is clear that conflict between two forces are going be an obstacle, and only one of the guys is going to walk away as the winner. Eventually the situation comes to a confrontation at a charity event (Lansing & Lyne, 1993). Desperate to win back Diana, David out bids John Gage's 50 thousand dollar offer on a Rhino by bidding a cool 1 million (Lansing & Lyne, 1993). In this scene, the character David Murphy was challenged to stand up and be a man, and he definitely did. In front of Diana and John, David gives the money back from the one-night deal to charity in an effort to win back her heart, because the money never meant anything like she did to him (Lansing & Lyne, 1993). The cinematographer captured David looking proud and bold by shooting an upward looking angle at him. The result was David finally looked like he stood up to his fierce competitor John Gage.
Throughout the film, the dilemma of money and love was a repeating pattern, and it was really a motif to the film (Boggs & Petrie, 2008). Likewise, the movie Money Can't Buy Me Love and Indecent Proposal have really similar themes. In both, the characters are blinded by money, and at the same time, they are in search of love. Ironically, the love is in front of their faces the whole time.
After viewing the film, it is still clear that everything has a price, but that price is more than a monetary number. For instance, the character David Murphy realized that having 1 million dollars without Diana was not worth it. Thus, he was happier before the decision. However, one would never know for sure. In all, love and money are universal concepts that people have been try to balance. Likewise, if you do not have love in your life, money is worth nearly as much.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(SPOILER IN THE SEVENTH PARAGRAPH- THAT'S THE SECOND TO LAST PARAGRAPH.
THE REST DOES NOT CONTAIN SPOILERS SO PLEASE READ!)
The film has one of the best premises of any film: would you sleep with a stranger for a million dollars? We've all jokily posited the dilemma, with some people answering 'yes' with more than a hint of bravado and most people emphatically taking the moral high ground by answering 'no'. But what if you were broke and the stranger was Robert Redford?
The film starts off brilliantly, with the suspense of an erotic thriller turned up to the maximum as we anticipate the moment where Redford will make the offer and everyone's lives will be changed. Underneath all that glossy porn, director Adrian Lyne also makes some social commentary, believe it or not. Money and wealth is given an erotic charge as Demi Moore's character Diana lusts after a gorgeous black dress. It's way out of her price range and symbolises the wealthy lifestyle that she secretly desires. Most viewers at one time or another will have yearned after an object with a price tag they can never afford, not so much because of the object itself but of what it symbolises. You imagine that this object- a symbol of wealth- will make you more attractive, more confident, more authoritative. This is a universal truth that every advertiser plays on and indeed Hollywood plays on.
The climax of this exploration of money as sex is when Diana and John (Woody Harrelson) have just won £10,000 at a casino. They throw the notes onto the bed and then themselves. Each glossily voyeuristic shot of the couple unites their sex with the money, as the notes press against backs, thighs, etc. But this is of course small change compared to what Robert Redford's character, handsome billionaire John Gage, is offering.
Reviewers who argue that the film would be more credible if the filmmakers had picked someone more unattractive are completely missing the point. Gage is the embodiment of the erotic lure of wealth. If he was hideous, the million dollars would look much less alluring and it would simply become a question of how far someone would go to pay the bills. An unattractive billionaire would also be much less of a threat; Diana would simply do the deed, get out of there and live a life of wealth with John. If she did choose to stay with the ugly billionaire, the film would just become a tale about an unpleasant person who betrays her loving husband for money.
The extra tension is that David feels sexually threatened by Gage. As he walks past a television shop, he imagines that the screens are showing his wife at it with Gage. So as well as the theme of the sexualisation of money, you also have questions of masculinity. What makes a man a man? (no giggling at the back please) Inevitably the film slows a little in the second half once the decision is made. It shifts gears so the question changes from "Would you sleep with a stranger for a million dollars?" to "In a loving marriage, would you be able to/should you forgive a betrayal?". This too is an interesting question, though less entertaining.
Lyne makes the ending very moral and conventional, upholding the sacred vows of marriage by Diana repenting and John forgiving. However there is a degree of ambiguity as what wins Diana over is a romantic gesture enabled by wealth. Some might see it as signifying that personal history will triumph over money, but without the money required to make the gesture, would Diana have gone back to John?
I would normally rate it 6 or 7 as I feel that the initial theme of the sexual power of money could have been explored more deeply, and that the ending is a bit weak. However the IMDb score is too low for what is a piece of glossy entertainment that touches on provocative issues. Maybe the film raises an uncomfortable question that we'd rather repress: is there a price at which we can all be bought? More specifically, what price can you be bought at?
Indecent proposal is the type of film that makes you look within when
it comes to your current or past relationship. I think this film is one
of the best for roles I have seen both Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson
featured in. There is nothing like a good romantic film that makes you
think long after the movie is finished. The plot of this film is one
that we all can relate to. Two high school sweethearts who face
struggles go to Vegas to bet in all in hopes of financial freedom.
Although they lost it all they are approached by a billionaire who
offers one night with David's (Woody) wife (Demi) in exchange for one
This film uses many themes throughout such as human relationships. Any person willing to offer money for sex with another mans wife clearly is suffering from human relationship problems. Morals are also put to the test not only for David and Diana relationship. But also for John (Robert Redford) who plays the role of the billionaire. All three major actors and actress are placed in hard decision, which test their morals. While lying in the bed David and Diana discuss rather or not take up John on his offer. At that point you notice how the lighting changes dim and dark. As if this begins the start of darkness for the high school sweethearts.
In 2009 there was film released by the name of The Box this two film are filmier because of the choices that have to be made based off of love and the finically status of a relationship. If you have seen Indecent Proposal then you will absolutely love The Box. I would like to end by saying although Diana and David marriage was put to the test one theme that tells the truth about this couple is coming of age. No matter what good or bad times two people who truly love each other can overcome all things. And always remember money cannot buy you or anyone love.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Indecent Proposal was released in 1993, It was about two young married couples David and Diana Murphy, they thought they invisible based on the loved they have shared over the years, David almost lost his wife (Diana) to a billionaire in the quest of having his dream house. There was recession in the country at that time and they were about losing their properties, they decided to go gamble so maybe they will make some to carry on with life but unfortunately they lost all their money. Diana ran into a multi billionaire John Gage whom at the spot was attracted to her which made him offer David one million dollars to spend a night with his wife (Diana). David and Diana thought about the offer and made a mutual decision to give it a shot. After the night, David started feeling insecure based on Diana's relationship with Gage which resulted to a separation between them. Feelings started developing between Diana and Gage after separation with David after a slight resistance from her towards Gage. David became down and out and he decided to sign the standing order documents sent to him by Diana and as well gave out the one million dollars just to let Diana and Gage realize he does care about the money. Gage decided to let go of Diana so that she could make amends with her husband (David), Gage gave her his lucky coin. Diana went to pier at paradise cove where David proposed to her, she met David there and they started all over again. Indecent Proposal revealed struggle of love, fidelity, and morality between David and Diana when money is offered, I realized in the film that worse decisions are made when people are in problems and at the end of the day, they regret ever taking the drastic decisions. The convincing emotional crisis the movie showed at the end of the film will make couples out there know that true love wins The lighting in the movie was not too soft which I think is perfect for the story line; overall, it made the film colorful. The camera in the film was close to the objects, and the camera angle suits the film as well.
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