Chloe Movie Review: Fatal Attraction, The Hooker Sequel

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The Girlfriend Experience meets Fatal Attraction in this tabloid remake of the Anne Fontaine 2004 artsy French same sex triangle, Nathalie, in Atom Egoyan’s Chloe. Relocating this titillating tale also touching on multiple surrogate sex objects of desire to a more frigid locale in more ways than one up in wintry Toronto, Chloe turns up the heat on assorted libidos. Yet seems oddly stiff and as calculated as its control freak conniving leads, and temperamentally frozen in time.

Julianne Moore is Catherine, a fabulously wealthy Toronto gynecologist with an extravagant yet strangely austere McMansion she shares with her contrasting free spirit music professor husband, David (Liam Neeson). While uptight workaholic Catherine appears to be the primary breadwinner by far, David is into a more joie de vivre lifestyle, preferring the off duty company of his students at a pub to Catherine’s swanky parties on the home front, with her circle of snobby swells.

Which leads the suspicious spouse to fears that frequently absentee David may be having an extracurricular affair back at school. So she takes time out from the daily ho hum clinical explorations of her patients’ inner private parts while lecturing them in rote technical terms about sexual dysfunction as a strictly biological state, to hire hottie call girl Chloe. And in effect, to determine the seductability of David, while possibly prodding him to disclose whether or not he’s sleeping around, and with whom. Though the diligent doctor does demand up front immaculate copies of the call girl’s clean bill of STD health gynecological medical records in advance.

And as Catherine contends as well with a midlife crisis threatening the tight control she wields over her existence and those around her, it seems that all the men in her life are having affairs – which would include her emotionally fragile teenage son who won’t talk to her and sneaks his girlfriend into his bedroom for clandestine sleepovers. So when Chloe begins to toy with the frustrated gynecologist’s lapsed libido by taunting her with all the lurid details she can summon in describing her naughty encounters with David, the vicariously overwhelmed Catherine is rendered defenseless in resisting moves that a smitten Chloe is determined to make on her. And whether Catherine relents to Chloe’s obsessive advances out of a subconscious basic instinct for spousal revenge or is unable to stifle her inner lesbian, who can say in this murky melodrama.

This movie may appeal most to those in the audience craving innovative how-to tips in purchasing sexual surveillance, or who have ever wanted to be a fly on the wall of unfaithful partner trysts. Otherwise, the task of sorting out multiple stalkers from stalkees along the way, can become a trying task. While most fascinating and least pursued in Chloe, are the class issues touching on how sex and even emotions can be relegated to callous purchases, financial transactions by those domineering elites in a position to afford it.

On a side note, there’s some incidental fetishism involving hair, and a closet full of designer stiletto heels that might make Imelda Marcos envious.

Sony Pictures Classics

Rated R

2 stars