Faithful

on April 05, 1996 by Dwayne E. Leslie
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   Margaret (Cher) is a depressed housewife; her husband Jack (Ryan O'Neal) is a workaholic. Their marriage is dull and uneventful, and his infidelities are taking their toll on her. Married now for 20 years, Jack decides to spice up this year's anniversary celebration: He hires Tony (Chazz Palminteri)--a hitman--to kill his wife.
   As with his earlier "A Bronx Tale," Palminteri created his role for himself, here having adapted this multiple plot-twist piece from his play. Although Palminteri says the story examines how women feel about men, the finished product focuses on the hitman's vulnerable side. With Margaret's aid, he is able to overcome his troubles and confusions. Although Palminteri appears very comfortable in this role and is able to make the complexity of key scenes seem like second nature, other parts are so tedious they barely crawl along. As Margaret, Cher is oddly inexpressive; her tight face makes emotional scenes less believable.
   Another New Line acquisition from Savoy, "Faithful" does touch on several real-life issues that will make audiences think, but that comes at some cost. Moviegoers might be too busy thinking to allow suspense to build, and the seriousness of the subject matter also takes away from the film's humor. Starring Cher, Chazz Palminteri and Ryan O'Neal. Directed by Paul Mazursky. Written by Chazz Palminteri. Produced by Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro. A New Line release. Comedy. Rated R for language and sex-related dialogue. Running time: 91 min
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