The first two thirds of Chloe are like Miracle on 34th Street and Santa Claus is an orgasm. Or rather, something more--an emotional, psychological orgasm as well as a physical one. Well, I suppose there's something more to Santa than just an old guy who gives you free stuff at Christmas. Chloe's concerned with a need for a particular kind of intimacy. It's also about the destructive potential of two people involved with each other who have matured in different ways.
To think I just wanted to watch it to see Amanda Seyfried naked. Though I have no desire to see Nathalie, the French film of which Chloe's a remake, largely because the girl in Nathalie isn't half as hot as Seyfried. It's hard to imagine a more exhilarating chemistry than what exists between Seyfried and Julianne Moore.
I was sort of reminded of Black Swan when at the beginning Catherine (Moore's character), a gynaecologist, is treating a patient who's a ballerina and who tells Catherine she's never had an orgasm. Catherine explains to the woman that an orgasm is simply a muscle contraction produced by stimulation of the clitoris, that there's nothing mysterious about it. The movie proceeds to build a world around Catherine that alienates her with its mysterious sexuality. Her husband, David (Liam Neeson), appears to her to be shamelessly flirting with every woman he sees, while he insists he's just being friendly. Catherine asks a male friend of hers why men prefer women to have their hair down and he explains to her it's "because they like imagine it wrapped around their--" And Catherine's the only woman in the restaurant with her hair bound in a tight bun. When she returns from the restroom, where she met Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), her hair's down.
Catherine's almost asexuality reminded me of Eyes Wide Shut, and the relationship she begins with Chloe reminded me at first of In the Mood for Love, and I started wondering if I was seeing a new emerging film archetype of the sexual alien, the protagonist who for some reason can't connect with human sexuality. But it turns out Chloe's not like that.
Julianne Moore is so good, so subtle in this movie. The game Chloe plays with her was somewhat obvious to me, as I think it would be to most people, but Catherine is so tied up in knots I can believe she falls for it. Catherine's too busy thinking about her own reactions, it's plain on Moore's face. She's helplessly stimulated and it goes against everything in the universe that seems rational to her, especially as she knows she's supposed to be very upset learning the details of her husband's infidelity.
Amanda Seyfried is really good in the movie too, but it's almost hard to think about anything besides the fact that she's so intensely, impossibly hot. I'm glad she has a good role in at least one good movie here, and that it's a divinely sexy movie helps, too.
I was a little on the fence about how I felt about the last third of the film. On the one hand, it is over the top, it kind of goes to Fatal Attraction territory. On the other hand, no one's exactly a villain or a hero, and it's fascinating to see that while Catherine may be more sexually innocent, the fact that she is a couple decades older than Chloe does count for something. She has some canal locks around her heart, while Chloe wants to give Catherine a treasured family heirloom already. But Chloe's love is by no means absurd, because we see how Chloe sees how Catherine is confused about herself, how she's drawn to Chloe in spite of herself. Chloe's better than average insight ultimately works against her.
I loved this movie. It was so, so nice.
I've had a copy of it around a while, but I kind of forgot about it until to-day when I was looking over Wikipedia's list of films released in 2010 to refresh my memory of what movies I saw so I could compile my rankings list. Boy, I'm glad I decided to squeeze Chloe in. So here's the list;
1. Shutter Island Wikipedia entry, my review
2. Chloe Wikipedia entry
3. Inception Wikipedia entry, my review
4. True Grit Wikipedia entry, my review
5. Never Let Me Go Wikipedia entry, my review
6. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya Wikipedia entry, my review
7. Rebuild of Evangelion; You Can (Not) Advance Wikipedia entry, my review
8. Machete Wikipedia entry, my review
9. Black Swan Wikipedia entry, my review
10. Iron Man 2 Wikipedia entry, my review
11. After.Life Wikipedia entry, my review
12. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Wikipedia entry, my review
13. Predators Wikipedia entry, my review
Worst (or at least not so great) Films
1. Robin Hood Wikipedia entry, my review
2. Alice in Wonderland Wikipedia entry, my review
3. Morning Glory Wikipedia entry, my review