Sony Pictures' Chloe built up quite a bit of buzz at TIFF last fall, receiving the gala treatment. After much anticipation, it finally gets a proper release.
Chloe is a sexy story that revolves around a doctor Catherine (Julianne Moore), who has doubts about her husband David's (Liam Neeson) fidelity after she checks his cell phone seeing a suggestive message from one of his students. She hires an attractive younger prostitute, Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), to test whether or not he is capable of being seduced, telling her "she thinks her husband would like her".
Catherine continues to convene secretly with Chloe, receiving updates on her progress in seduction. According to Chloe, Catherine's suspicions were correct and tensions mount as Catherine becomes increasingly jealous of her husband's involvement with the prostitute. At the same time, Chloe becomes drawn increasingly to Catherine's vulnerability and goes as far as to befriend her son Michael (Max Thieriot) to solidify her bond further.
In the heat of passion, Catherine also becomes involved with Chloe, in what sounds like something straight out of an after-hours movie on Bravo or Showtime. The believed affair between Chloe and David then fades to the background, as Catherine and David's marriage begins to crumble with both of them beginning to doubt one another's faithfulness. But it's far too late at this point as Chloe has already become obsessed with Catherine who rejects her. Chloe's appetite for destruction is then whet. And she stops at no costs to get what she wants, even seducing Michael at the family home. Things then spiral out of control from here.
Don't get me wrong, Chloe is a beautifully shot film thanks to Paul Sarossy, who depicts Toronto as a city of glamour and intrigue. It gives me a bit of a thrill to see the the route I normally take when walking my dog Billy in Yorkville, as the backdrop for the most of the film. Where everything falls short though is the crude script by Erin Cressida Wilson. Parts of the film had me laughing out loud and nodding my head in disbelief at what I was hearing: "Did he cum in your mouth?" asks Catherine. "No, he came in my hand" replies Chloe. It shocks me that a woman could write a script that seems so detached from the way women would think.
I was actually embarrassed for Moore, Neeson and Seyfried, all who put forth daring performances. The characters however, never really seem genuinely concerned with what they should care about. Chloe is portrayed as someone emotionally hungry, but not hungry enough to make her actions justifiable. Catherine doesn't seem as though she cares about her marriage nearly as much as she cares about finding out what sexual acts are being performed on her husband. And David is reduced to being part of a side story, supposedly caring about his marriage, but not really. And Michael only really cares about having sex and playing instruments all day. It is never really understood why it is that he is so apathetic when it comes to his mother. Despite all of Chloe's shortcomings though, I still found myself drawn to the guilty pleasure of a plot. Is is trashy, entertaining and delicious. Grade: C+
Check out these photos I got of Seyfried and Moore while they were in town last fall to promote Chloe.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)