Saturday, December 8, 2012

Top 5 Movie Guide: Infidelity

For this edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we take a look at some of our favorite films involving infidelity. With "Hyde Park on Hudson" getting its official theater release this weekend, and the film having to do with FDR and his real-life affair with Lucy Mercer, we decided to take a look at a few other films that featured notable perfidy. In 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, wife, mother, and mistress all played host to the King and Queen of England, the first time a reigning English monarch would visit America. With Britain on the brink of imminent war with Germany, King George desperately seeks the support of America. Personal and political agendas are juggled as both sides strive to make it a memorable weekend.


From what we've seen in the trailers, the studio really plays down the fact that FDR was two-timing his wife with a secretary she hired for him. I'm not sure how much the director will delve into this relationship, but it's known fact that their relationship spanned many decades.

Anyway, as for the theme this week, it's a tricky one to tackle. It's hard to pick out which films you "like" the most, as the better ones are many times about worse people and circumstances. But it's been a popular theme in film especially over the past decade or so, with seemingly a handful of titles being released on the subject each year (along with "Hyde Park on Hudson", "The Details" and "Arbitrage" come to mind for 2012). Maybe the worst aspect about most of these films, much like the latter two just mentioned, when one party tries to cover something up, it usually makes it worse. 
Our recommendation: other than the chance that you might be venturing to our site for the first time and are thinking about cheating on your regular movie blog with our lists below, don't stray. It never works out.

Hit the jump to see which titles we picked out for our favorites of this genre!


Alex Schopp -
Not a ton of variety in this category. I feel pretty sound in my top three selections, but after that, most aspects of the final two films could blend together with a handful of other films from this category.

     1. Up in the Air (2009)
This doesn't necessarily show me in the brightest light, but I really connected with George Clooney's character a lot in this film. In many ways, I wish I could be him. That's probably why when the cheating aspect of the film is revealed it hurt so much. I felt terrible for this guy who finally decided to go for it. The film has a great tone, though; almost exactly what I'm looking for in an ideal character drama.
     2. Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
The cheating aspect is basically just the preface of this story, but it is what sets it all in motion. I went back and watched this again recently and realized I liked it even more than I thought. That climax, when all hell breaks loose, is worth the watch alone, though the whole film really is enjoyable. Ryan Gosling steals the show.
     3. The Graduate (1967)
Such a cliche pick. I really do enjoy the film, but I'm not trying to watch it very often. If you haven't seen this for a while though, go back and watch it again - the cinematography is decades ahead of its time. I'm constantly amazed that this came out in the 1960's.
     4. Closer (2004)
This is just a film full of infidelity and terrible people. I can't quite figure out how this film ever manages to convey a sense of charm about it, but oddly, it does.
     5. Little Children (2006)
This is one of those movies where you're just angry that grown adults can't control themselves. Various intertwining stories here, and just about everyone is at fault for something. The cast is great though, and Jackie Earle Haley's character really creeps me out!

Ben Foutch -

     1. Closer (2004)

     2. The Descendants (2011)

     3. The Graduate (1967)

     4. The Ice Storm (1997)

     5. Hellraiser (1987)



Derek Clem -
This is easily one of my most hated subjects in movies.

     1. She's The One (1996)
As terrible as infidelity plots make me feel, this movie has a pretty high watchability factor for me. Maybe it's because of Tom Petty's amazing soundtrack?
     2. Little Children (2006)
The narration in this movie is amazing!
     3. The Graduate (1967)
Sort of an obvious choice, but you can't deny its place on this sort of list.
     4. The Apartment (1960)
Jack Lemmon plays and infidelity enabler in this Billy Wilder classic.
     5. The Painted Veil (2006)
I love when people follow their duty over their heart. I find it so impressive and noble.

Nathan Hinds -
I feel like it's a tricky situation to put reasons why you "like" movies about infidelity, so I will not be putting reasons. All I'll say is, don't cheat, people.

     1. Fatal Attraction (1987)

     2. The Graduate (1967)

     3. Derailed (2005)

     4. American Beauty (1999)

     5. Chloe (2009)


Andy Schopp -

     1. Titanic (1997)
I just like this movie, so I had to put it high on this list.
     2. Splice (2009)
You show me a single scene of infidelity that makes you cringe or run away more than what this offers. You won't be able to find it.
     3. The Edge (1997)
The movie doesn't necessarily hinge on infidelity, but it also doesn't not.
     4. The Descendants (2011)
I enjoyed this movie a lot. It was one of my favorites of the year and it's still a great watch.
     5. It's Complicated (2009)
Alec Baldwin makes this movie for me. It's funnier than you think it's going to be.

So there we have it, folks. Plenty of variety above, and overall maybe the most we've ever seen. Nineteen titles were displayed above, and we really need to go back and find out for sure what else might hold the record - off the top of my head, eighteen seemed like the previous record-holder. Either way, it's some of the most variety ever featured on one of these posts.

Due to that, only four films received multiple selections, and that feels pretty close to a record as well. "The Graduate", maybe the poster boy of this genre altogether, received the most picks, with four (though none of them in the #1 slot). It's an obvious call as the top performer this week, and a strong film that requires a watch if you've never done so. Otherwise, "The Descendants , "Closer", and "Little Children" were the only other films with multiple selections, and each only received two. Solid selections, even if none were regarded much higher than anything else above.

There's plenty of content to sift through this week, so as always, we hope that each of these selections helps you to expand your knowledge and appreciation of some of the best films that this category has to offer, and guides you to better and more enjoyable all-around viewing experiences.

Happy watching!