Marital Bonds

Diane Lane is the reason to see this movie. She carries the film with her very strong performance. Much of her delivery is in non verbal ways - eyes, facial expressions, body gestures. She seems perfect for this role. There's not much to give away about this movie that the title doesn't. Connie (Lane) has an affair with an antique book dealer. Her husband (Gere) suspects as much and has her followed. The black and white snapshots confirm his fears. Connie, her lover, and Ed (Gere) are an uncomfortable triangle. Connie certainly hints at some dissent with the mundaneness of her life, but it's not extreme. The script and director do some interesting work here to keep the story from being too easily for or against one of the characters. Connie's affair could be years of frustration, but it felt more like opportunity and chemistry - something that is harder to expect or prepare for in a relationship. She stumbles into his arms (this was a bit contrived) and the affair just happens. She knows she must end it. Ed is certainly a little distant, but he's not neglectful and appears to be a decent father. It's not easy to side with Ed nor do we blame Ed. What seems to be the strength of this movie is the absence of purpose in these choices. The affair happens, not because it was sought out; rather, it was right at the time. Instead of looking for reasons or blame, this movie deals a lot more with actions and behaviours.

Ed has a difficult time. He wants to confront Connie's lover. This is where the movie takes on a different plot. It's not difficult to figure out what is going to happen. Again, it's the strength of this movie to find normal people in difficult situations. The ending is left mostly open.

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