WATCH IT! "CHLOE": Call It "Lesbionage"…


Call it “Lesbionage”…

In the first 15 minutes of “Chloe“, the new film by director Atom Egoyan, we’re treated to (1) a naked Amanda Seyfried slowly putting on her black lingerie, (2) two women discussing the female orgasm, (3) a pair of scantily clad teen lovers caught post-coitally by one of their parents, and (4) enough sex talk to keep Jesse James and Tiger Woods interested for at least an afternoon of golf together. (There’s a horny middle-aged guy who tries to explain that men prefer women with long hair because it’s a vestige from when women used their hair to cover their private areas– or something like that. I didn’t quite get it.) It’s all done with a “So what?”, European kind of attitude. Wow! A sexy movie that’s not condescending, immature, or fearful about sex?. Is this possibly a decades-belated turning point in American cinema? Not really. Director Egoyan is Canadian, the film is set in Toronto, and it’s based on a 2003 French movie called “Nathalie”. Oh well… Maybe one day, American directors will get it right when it comes to sex on the big screen.

“Chloe” does get it right, at least for a while. Julianne Moore plays Catherine, an impossibly attractive obstetrician living in an impossibly gorgeous house. But her impossibly perfect life is disturbed when she suspects that her husband, a professor, (reportedly impossibly well-endowed actor Liam Neeson) may be cheating on her with one of his students. She hires a baby-faced hooker named Chloe (Seyfried, all eyes and lips), whom she meets by chance in the ladies room, to seduce her husband and see if he’ll “bite the hook“. According to Chloe, he does… and before you can say, “rehab for sexual addiction”, things get out of hand very fast. Catherine becomes increasingly unsettled about her husband (a combination of anger and fascination)… but more significantly, the two women wind up making love in a brief but hotly explicit scene. Problems arise when one of the ladies falls very, very hard for the other, with traumatic results.

In case you haven’t guessed by now, this gorgeously-photographed movie takes many twists and turns. However, as “Chloe” movie morphs from a sophisticated drama about sexual mores to a thriller, it unfortunately become less and less believable. The big climax (of the movie, not Catherine and Chloe‘s…) is a bit over-the-top– and it might have worked better in a different kind of movie. Julianne Moore, still one of America’s most underappreciated actresses, is amazing. As Chloe, Seyfried appears ill-fitting in the role of a seasoned call girl (specifically, too young), but she’s soon quite believable. And although there’s lots of talk about Liam Neeson’s character’s penis, we never see it. Oh well. Better luck next remake…

“Chloe” is now playing.

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