Indecent Proposal

(Adrian Lyne, USA, 1993)


Indecent Proposal makes a complete mess of a tantalising erotic premise.

A sinister capitalist (Robert Redford) offers an ordinary guy (Woody Harrelson) one million dollars for a night with his wife (Demi Moore). The night happens – off-screen – with the result that the couple’s marriage is plunged into a crisis of faith, with Redford lurking in the wings to pick up the pieces.

What could have been an involving melodrama about a woman having to choose between two starkly different male types is quickly skewed to become a maudlin male weepie.

Both Harrelson and Redford are presented as guys searching their souls and revealing their sensitive sides, while Moore comes across as nothing more than a fickle bimbo, going with whichever man bats his eyelashes at her.

Adrian Lyne’s characteristically absurd direction – full of hysterically pitched stylistic effects – does not help matters.

MORE Lyne: Lolita, Unfaithful

MORE Redford: Quiz Show, Up Close & Personal, The Clearing, Sneakers, The Horse Whisperer, The Legend of Bagger Vance

© Adrian Martin December 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
home    reviews    essays    search