the review site with a difference since 1999
Reviews Interviews Articles Apps About

DVD Review: INDECENT PROPOSAL (BLU-RAY)


Studio: Paramount Home Video
Year: 1993
Cast: Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Oliver Platt, Seymour Cassel
Director: Adrian Lyne
Release Date: June 16, 2009, 5:59 pm
Rating: R for (sexuality and language)
Run Time: 01h:56m:48s

The dress is for sale. Im not. - Diana Murphy (Demi Moore)

INDECENT PROPOSAL (BLU-RAY)
Buy Now @ Amazon

Even 16 years after it hit theaters, the moral question at this film's core is the ultimate conversation starter for couples everywhere.

Movie Grade: C-

DVD Grade: B

Film review by Dan Heaton.

If a billionaire offered you one million dollars to sleep with your wife, would you agree to it? If the person looked as striking as Robert Redford, would that change her mind? This moral quandary generates the oddball premise of Indecent Proposalan over-hyped morality play that never bothers to delve beneath the surface of this issue. Instead, we must watch an extremely dull soap opera that oozes with melodrama. The plot device merely serves as a gimmick to draw hordes of audiences to view attractive stars in various states of distress. The screenplay lacks depth or emotions, and the supposedly startling revelations can be deciphered long before they appear on screen.

David and Diana Murphy (Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore) are the happy couple who eloped at a young age and have stayed together ever since. David is an architect who spends his free time crafting the designs of his dream house. To fulfill his vision, they take a chance and borrow money to create this strange monstrosity. The film treats David like a talented architect, but this house does not live up to expectations. Unfortunately, a recession hits hard, and they must face the dire possibility of losing the house. With only $5,000 in hand, the nave couple travels to Las Vegas with the idealistic goals of winning enough money to pay off all their debts. Their depressing financial state gives more leverage to the million-dollar offer from John Gage (Redford), a sharp-dressed man who throws around money like it grows on trees.

Demi Moore plays the striking Diana as a bright-eyed girl who completely adores her struggling husband. She utters horrible statements like "Have I ever told you that I love you?" with a complete lack of conviction that weakens the already poor material; her role in this story is to look stunning and speak in clichs. The worst offense occurs in the voice-over narration, which adds little to the plot and sounds especially awkward. From the first few laugh-inducing statements, it becomes difficult to take any of these lines seriously. In terms of looking beautiful, Moore succeeds on every level, but her character's depth leaves something to be desired.

Robert Redford does provide a charming presence as the suave, unbelievably rich man with plans to charm Demi Moore away. He remains virtually unflappable within all situations, including one where Diane enters a chic restaurant and throws food all over his wealthy business partners. However, there's little reality to his character beyond the style and money. Why is this man who could have millions of women across the world so enamored with Diane? Gage tries to explain his intentions with a sad story from the past, but it still leaves us wanting to know more about him. Redford gives his best effort within the confines of the screenplay, and few could play this part better, but he's limited by the simplicity of the role. Sadly, Woody Harrelson fares much worse as the jealous husband who basically throws his wife into Gage's arms. The film seems to relish making David as dull as is humanly possible, and nothing interesting appears to be going on inside his head.

Indecent Proposal grossed over 100 million dollars in the United States alone largely due to Redford and Moore's box office power. Also, the tease of an intriguing morality play lured audiences who expected more complex fare. Instead, they received this irritating soap-opera-level story that equally insults the intelligence of the viewers and the film's characters. Although the situation is different, the plot actually follows the "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back" formula that has been played to death over the years. Director Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction, Lolita) has done some risky material before, but nothing here moves beyond the expected conventions. A few quick love scenes appear early on and promise a steamier movie, but they disappear quickly once the plot takes center stage. Instead, we're left with a simplistic creation filled with far too many monotonous situations.

Paramount bows Indecent Proposal on Blu-ray with an above-average 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation that is rich in bright, vibrant colors. Images are almost always sharp and finely detailed, although quite a bit of grain is present throughout the course of the film. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is an impressive, lossless mix that keeps things mostly up front, while using the entire sound field occasionally. The only extra, a nice audio commentary by director Adrian Lyne, was ported over from Paramounts old DVD release.

Chuck Aliaga June 16, 2009, 5:59 pm