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A happily-married, but down on luck and money, couple, David and Diana
Murphy (Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore), go to Las Vegas. There they
hope their luck will change and their financial problems will be over.
They meet a powerful billionaire, John Gage (Robert Redford), who makes
them an offer - one million dollars for one night with Diana...
An interesting moral dilemma, and that's it. The theme was intriguing - will they?, won't they?, what would you do? Unfortunately that's all it remains - a moral dilemma, and one that is not explored very thoroughly or very well.
The remainder of the movie just feels like filler. There is a brief moment, in the aftermath of their decision, where the movie looks like it might go somewhere substantial, but this is just a false start. Ultimately, the movie has nothing to say. No substance, and what style there is is just pure schmaltz at its most trite.
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.
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 ***
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.
No I did not read the book. I note here that all the reviews I ticked made valid points good, bad and indifferent. It was predictable and annoying in its attempt to keep the plot going. As an audience we did not need to stay alert as the thing dragged some and did not hold sufficient true interest in Redford and his unfortunate casting, which as others have said was not the man for the job. Quite annoying that he was benign and predictable. As was the rather facile direction. I am trying my best to avoid spoilers. In short, the previous reviews to mine, in my opinion are accurate. In future I think I will avoid sitting through an entire Mr Lyne movie. I have learned enough about his style to be more discerning in future. Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson are truly excellent with what may have been a tough contractual movie to star in. They both come across very well and in no way need to feel anything but proud of their performances.Well done and good luck to them both. I think Redford is an amazing actor, in this he is woefully mis-cast and weakly directed.
A man goes into a bar and gets into a conversation with a woman. The
topic turns to sex and he asks her "Do you think that you would sleep
with a man if he offered you a million pounds?" After some
consideration she replies "Yes, I think I would".
"So would you sleep with me for a fiver?"
"Certainly not. What sort of girl do you think I am?"
"We've already established that. All we're doing now is haggling over the price".
"Indecent Proposal" is a film loosely based upon that old joke. David and Diana Murphy are a married couple, the sort of people who at the time would have been described as yuppies. He is an architect, she a real estate broker, and both are living the Californian yuppie dream until the early nineties recession hits them hard. Hoping to recoup their finances they travel to Las Vegas, only to lose all of their savings. And here comes that joke. They meet a billionaire named John Gage who is attracted to the lovely Diana (hardly surprising, given that she is played by Demi Moore) and offers David one million dollars to spend a night with her. After much consideration, and after hiring their lawyer to draw up a contract, David and Diana decide to accept the offer, and Gage flies Diana to a private yacht where the dirty deed is consummated. Gage is as good as his word, and the money is duly paid into David's bank account, but the couple gradually realise that the arrangement has placed an intolerable strain on their relationship.
This was one of a number of "erotic dramas" which came out in the late eighties and early nineties. ("Fatal Attraction", also directed by Adrian Lyne, and "Basic Instinct" are others of the same kind). I call them "erotic" not in the sense that they are pornographic- "Indecent Proposal" only contains one, not very explicit, love scene- but in the sense that they deal frankly with sexual topics. In some respects the film can also be seen as a variation on the standard romantic comedy theme. Most romantic comedies tell the story of how a couple fall in love and of they overcome any obstacles to that love. "Indecent Proposal" tells the story of a couple who start off in love, of how they fall out of love, and of how their love is rekindled.
The film was a box office success, but received mostly negative reviews from critics, and even won the "Worst Picture" Razzie award for 1993. This surprised me: "Indecent Proposal" is far from being a great film, but I cannot for the life of me see how it could be regarded as worse than Madonna's execrable semi-pornographic vanity project "Body of Evidence". (Indeed, it is difficult to imagine how any film not directed by Ed Wood could have been worse than "Body of Evidence").
Of the film's three main stars, Moore is probably the best; although she is not as good as she had been in some of her other films from the early nineties such as "Ghost" and "A Few Good Men" she still succeeds in making Diana an attractive heroine. (There is also an amusing cameo from Oliver Platt as the Murphy's grasping lawyer). Woody Harrelson, however, is too stiff and awkward as David, not giving much expression to the emotional turmoil which a character in his position would have faced. My only objection to Harrelson's "Worst Supporting Actor" Razzie was that, as the film's principal male character, his was a leading role and he should have been nominated for "Worst Actor" instead.
if Harrelson had been nominated for "Worst Actor", he would have had to compete for this dubious honour with his co-star Robert Redford. (In the event, Redford lost out to Burt Reynolds). Still displaying, in a slightly ravaged form, the good looks which had made him a matinée idol in the earlier part of his career, Redford's casting in the role of Gage drew numerous comments from women of a certain age along the lines of "I would sleep with him for free, never mind a million dollars". Unfortunately, this is one of his films in which Redford seems content to coast along on looks and smooth charm alone without putting much effort into his role. We never really find out what motivates Gage- love for Diana, lust for her or simply the desire to test, as an intellectual proposition, his theory that, the Beatles and popular opinion notwithstanding, money can indeed buy me love- although this may be as much the fault of the scriptwriter as of Redford.
Although "Indecent Proposal" was intended as a serious treatment of its theme rather than a humorous one, the plot bears a certain resemblance to that of a comedy from the previous year, "Honeymoon in Vegas" in which an unsuccessful Las Vegas gambler loses his girl to a wealthy high roller and then has to win her back. This is, in fact, the sort of story which would have worked better as a comedy, its central idea being too improbable to be credible in the context of a serious drama. In real life billionaires, however eccentric, do not generally offer happily married women, however attractive, a million dollars for sex. It is not, in my view, an outstandingly bad film; Lyne is a reasonably competent director and tells his story efficiently enough. It is just not a very good one. 5/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Indecent Proposal is a film, based on the novel of the same name by
Jack Engelhard about a handsome billionaire who offers a young couple
$1 million to spend one night with his wife.It stars Robert Redford,
Demi Moore, and Woody Harrelson.Adrian Lyne,the directs the film.
In the storyline,Diana and David Murphy, high-school sweethearts who recently got married.They 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, 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 wrecked by this moral dilemma, but Diana finally makes the decision on her own, with ensuing consequences for their ideal marriage and their bank account.
The film has an interesting premise.Unfortunately,it turns into a disaster especially after in the events after Diana agrees to sleep with billionaire,John Gage.Lyne's direction becomes formulaic and contrived.The romances between the young couple loses focus and the billionaire suddenly gives up in her interest to the attractive wife to give the story a happy ending.Too bad that the only positive note in the ludicrous but commercially successful movie is the solid performances from Redford,Moore and Harrelson.
David and Diana Murphy are about to loose their home. In an attempt to
get some money, they go to Vegas where they meet billionaire John Gage.
He offers them a million dollars for one night with the missus.
Unwillingly they agree, but when Diana returns David suspects she is
What I have just described is the first hour of Indecent Proposal.It's a pretty good start, but the remaining hour, regardless of whether it is loyal or disloyal to the novel is a solid example of not -so-solid storytelling. It becomes rather pointless and dull.
Indecent Proposal is driven not so much by its story but by the interactions between the three leads. Though the performance quality is nothing special, Woody Harrelson, Robert Redford, and Demi Moore all have a good screen presence. There is also a charming little appearance by Billy Conoly as himself near the end. I always get a kick out of him.
In the end, Indecent Proposal stands as watchable but very lame. It is a steamer that runs out of steam and sort of leaves the viewer adrift on the river not really going anywhere fast. It is not an easy recommendation, unless you have a thing for erotic B-movies.
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