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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this, taped off TV, because I found the basic idea interesting. It was acted out well, though I agree with the reviewer who said that Redford just didn't have enough of the devil about him. I thought it was particularly clever not to show John Gage (Redford) making love with Diana (Moore), though there had been plenty of scenes with her and David (Harrelson). To judge from another comment, the book would have been far more interesting, as a picture of John Gage and the repercussions of what was done. In fact, there are deep contradictions in how John Gage is portrayed. He is at first amoral enough to be ready to threaten the marriage of a young couple just to get a night with Diana. Then he becomes obsessed with her, behaving as if he's fallen truly in love, and for a while, after David walks out (apparently; it is not altogether clear), Diana seems to respond to this and be in love with him (but this too is not made clear. She could have decided to be his mistress, with no depth of emotion at all, for all we are told). Then, on seeing the interaction between David and Diana, when the former comes to sign the divorce papers, he makes a quixotic gesture and deliberately cheapens himself in Diana's eyes, by making clear how often he has played the million dollars ploy, so that she will go back to David, which she duly does, and they re-connect. It is hard to believe that one man could go through so many changes of heart, or even that Diana, if she has come to love him, could so easily go back to David, who hurt her badly enough with his mistrust that she was ready to contemplate getting involved with Gage, whom she had fended off before. There are minor glitches that irritate, such as how the couple pay off their debts etc. if the million dollars remains intact, and how Diana gets a bus at the end without apparently having a cent on her (she is not carrying a purse), but the contradictions in Gage's character seem to me to be the central flaw, and I don't believe the couple could resolve their differences and come back together as easily as all that.
Interesting movie (adapted from the book by Jack Engelhard) with a lot
to say about love... Love lost and true love.
Did this movie go over the heads of those who gave it a poor rating?
Indecent Proposal is not about sleeping with someone for money as other reviewers have stated. It is about a man who missed the opportunity to be with his first love, and a happily married couple who lose sight of their values and vows.
When John Gage (Redford) first sets eyes on Diana (Moore) at a Casino pocketing chocolates, he's smitten. We assume he's eyeing her because he's a dirty, middle-aged rich man. It isn't until later in the movie - during one of the many touching scenes - that we learn Gage isn't going after Diana because he can. He actually is experiencing love at first sight. Unfortunately, cupid has sent him a happily married woman.
Despite that Diana's married, Gage makes his proposal: One million dollars to spend the night with him. Gage's proposal is an interesting one because it tells a lot about David (Harrelson) and Diana. And it is their decision to accept Gage's proposal that causes their marriage to slowly sour and eventually implode while Gage sits back and patiently waits for Diana.
There are a number of touching moments in Indecent Proposal. One is when Gage tells Diana about the girl he fell in love with during a fleeting moment on a train.
Toward the end of the movie Gage and Diana are in his car. Gage goes into this discourse about other women. It is the most touching scene in the movie because it reveals the kind of person Gage is - someone who realizes what true love is.
Redford plays Gage brilliantly. He was made for the part. Gage is patient and expressive without saying a word. Just a smile or a playful look and you know what he is thinking and feeling. Harrelson plays the loving, then anguished husband well enough. Moore is miscast against both Redford and Harrelson.
Despite this flaw, Indecent Proposal is worth watching because we step into the world of a happily married couple who assured themselves they would survive an unorthodox way to solve their problems. We also step into the world of a man looking for true love.
One last thought: Adaptations are usually a bitch for most writers. I did not read Engelhard's novel. So, I do not know what was added or subtracted to the screenplay. Either way, I found the story nicely paced, well-told, and with no loose ends. Bravo Amy Holden Jones!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Only saw this movie late last night. I remember the hype of it's release and to be honest had I viewed it back then I maybe wouldn't have been so generous. I hate hype, it can ruin a movie. I think the movie glossed over the characters and put too much emphasis on Woody. He was good too - although kept wondering if he was stoned the whole time. It never went too deep. Redford was dark but not too dark and his character let me down in the end. To me he should have been more confrontational with Demi - throwing her out perhaps or telling her that she was paid for. After all he would have investigated them before he made the proposal - that's not shown in the movie, but no one in his perceived position would have made an offer to just anyone. He was cruel to the point of breaking them up and the last straw was the house and yet Demi fell for him? The passages giving an insight to Demi and Woody's relationship were the best part of the movie. There was a keen deepness that outshone the shallowness of John Gages character. He really could have been a lot stronger and as other people have alluded I think the movies draw-card was Redford and they didn't want tarnish his "image". I say what the hell Robert was old in this movie! Woody and Demi's characters were naive in a sense, but I think that was very intentional to draw you to their plight and champion their decision. But the reality is, they were losing their dream home and where did they go? Las Vegas? to gamble what little they had left and then accept a proposal from an insanely rich billionaire. I found their naivety when Redford was seducing them a little too unrealistic. The movie could have been so much more and other actors would have made a difference, but having said that on late night TV - it was enjoyable and I if you don't think too much - also palatable
Remember what Oscar Wilde said about the disagreement of critics:
"Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new,
complex, and vital." There have been only a few films in the last
decade which divided audiences more, but since INDECENT PROPOSAL has
never really been considered the serious drama that it is, the
arguments are not very heated. The politics in the film offend some,
The film is about the conflict of love vs. money, monogamy vs. promiscuity, romance vs. cynicism. These are all subjects many people have very personal opinions about. What is love? What is important for a relationship to be a success? Can you love more than one person? Can love be bought? These questions were meant to stir the pot, and they certainly helped INDECENT PROPOSAL succeed at the box office.
The film, instead of leaving those timeless questions open, as many contemporary films do, instead comes to a conclusion. The conclusion is a very romantic one, and it will not be popular among hardened cynics. The movie tells us love prevails, and although love may not always prevail in real life, it is important to note that it sometimes does. In INDECENT PROPOSAL, love and trust and monogamy win out over the decadence of the millionaire and his "offer." It is an optimistic conclusion, and an extremely satisfying and joyful conclusion for the romantics of the world.
The film is not only a romantic experience, but an example of great film-making. The photography, lighting, scenery, costumes, colors, performances, and especially John Barry's magical score, all add up to make an extremely high quality film. You may criticize the film based on your own political opinions, but do not criticize the music or photography! It is rare to see a film with such gorgeous style.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A good example of the differences between American and foreign cinema
can be seen in a film I recently watched on television: Indecent
Indecent Proposal's two protagonists, David and Diane Murphy are played Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore. I'm not sure if it was their total lack of chemistry or that they were not acting well, but why we should care so much whether these two stay together was beyond me. Love, affection, playfulness, attraction none of these materialized on screen in their interactions together.
Since I knew that eventually Robert Redford would show up, it was clear from the beginning that the good part, the meat of the movie, would be the scenes between him and Demi Moore. Poor Woody Harrelson just could not muster any emotion at all for the film. He seemed to be holding back, preoccupied with his receding hairline.
OK, so fast forward. What idiots these two (Diane and David) are for thinking they can win back the $50,000 they owe by gambling. No acting faux pas there, just hideously bad, lazy, unforgivable writing. Of course they lose all their money. Surprised? I know I wasn't. Enter Robert Redford (John Gage in the film) a romantic, perhaps emotionally frigid man, an updated Gatsby. A very good role and though not a great, great actor, next to those two, Redford looks like Olivier. He immediately falls in love and lust with Diane and we the viewers for once FEEL it. This is how to love a woman! Not David's way, trading gum mouth to mouth with Diane on a slimy pier. (Did I see that right?) As Gage, Redford wears a suit and tie in every scene. Yes it's meant to instruct the seemingly brain dead audience that here is a Rich Man, but he also looks damn good and by this point the brain dead audience appreciates it! Other wardrobe symbolism includes David's now-ironed shirts at the end of the film, signifying resolve, getting it together after a long interlude of forlorn wrinkled shirt wearing.
And what is it with California garden parties as depicted in Hollywood movies? Suddenly everyone appears British, complete with lacy dresses, three piece suits for the men, hats (HATS!) and of course the parasol. Yes Diane, her transformation to Rich Man's fiancée now complete, is there at the auction daintily twirling a parasol. Though she insisted that she couldn't be bought, she succumbed at last to the sexual tension. Here is where the film branches off into pure Americana. I mean, of course David and Diane will end up together, my question is: WHY? Diane was bored with David, why not let her ride the Robert Redford wave? And I mean for a good long while? How can she pull herself out of the sexual-romantic thrall of this sexy older man so easily just because Woody Harrelson brings his receding hairline to the garden party, sits himself down and looks Demi Moore in the eyes. That's just not how it goes. He was so WEAK.
But we must have our happy ending. We have to swallow the Moral Lesson. We're not sophisticated enough yet to have it otherwise. Director Lyn tried to make a Fatal Attraction for the juvie set, the young'uns.
In addition to garden parties in which there's nary an SUV, tee shirt, or baseball cap in sight, such films also feature a reliable public transportation system that connects far-flung California cities and municipalities. How else to symbolize the return to middle class or working class life?
*** 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
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
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
I watched the movie for the first time, on TV. It's not a great film,
but it certainly didn't deserve the 5.3 low rating. Something's going
on here, and I think it's because most reviewers here are male, and we
are threatened by the prospect of losing our wives to a Robert Reford
look like billionaire, because we know for a fact we wouldn't stand a
chance, even without the million bucks.
With divorce rate at 50% as it now, i am not even married but I suspect when a billionaire ( with a heart nonetheless ) came calling, my wife would leave me in a heartbeat.
sorry but everything does come with a price tag, even your marriage.
Indecent proposal, is not an ordinary story about two lovers who face some
problems in their life, but it reflects how deep love can make the young
couple (Demi Moore & Woody Harrelson) overcome any obstacle in their
And we are not just talking about any ordinary obstacle here, we are talking about a millionaire (Robert Redford) that takes advantage of the couple's money problem and offers Woody Harrelson a million dollars if he lets him spend one night with his wife.
What will happen next....................!!!!! This movie is one you should never miss, go ahead and rent it now.
I like this movie very very much, and I just couldn't stop my tears from running down at the final scene of the movie.
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
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!)
The premise for this film reminded me of those party games...the ones where you need to answer a question that is controversial. For example, "Would you give up a year of your life to live the rest of it in total luxury?" This one, to a married couple, "Would you allow your partner to sleep with another person for a million dollars?" This is the stuff of parties, though. The fact that someone would have the means or the wish to make such an offer is quite unlikely. Redford is a gamer and so he goes ahead. The movie is about the answer to his proposal and the implications if the couple accepts. It's also a movie that probably has been discussed over and over in various settings. The acting is good (it's a good cast), but there is something so far fetched that I never bought into it.
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