Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -2 1/2

As he and his wife Maggie (Cher) are approaching their 20th wedding anniversary, Jack O'Donnell (Ryan O'Neal) hires a hit man to kill Maggie. Jack is away on business and Maggie is alone when Tony (Chazz Palminteri) arrives to kill her, but the two become involved in a lopsided conversation. Soon, a befuddled Tony calls his psychiatrist for advice about the murder. After listening to Maggie's side of her marriage to Jack, he learns Jack has been the unfaithful one, not Maggie - a fact that impresses Tony. Fidelity in marriage is the issue explored in the film, and, sad to say, comes out woefully lacking. One wonders why Maggie put up with Jack's repeated affairs without even confronting him. FAITHFUL has its funny moments, but this dark comedy makes a mockery of marriage.

The exploration of fidelity is largely revealed through tough-guy Tony. Maggie comes on to him sexually in an effort to save her own skin, with the implication that they go to bed together. There are some sexually suggestive remarks made about the size of a woman's breasts and numerous references to sexual activity. Many crudities, a few profanities and over 60 obscenities are offensive and serve no purpose except perhaps to show the caliber of the screenwriter's character. Violence borders on slapstick, as some gun threats and a knife threat are more comical than frightening. The wedding vows and church ceremony at the film's outset, even using Scripture, cheapen the beautiful institution of marriage. This theme, plus gratuitous foul language, makes FAITHFUL inappropriate for discerning filmgoers.

Preview Reviewer: Bonnie C. Harvey
Distributor: New Line Cinema, 575 8th Ave., 16th Flr., NY, NY 10018

Crude Language: Many (12) times - Mild 6, Moderate 6
Obscene Language: Many (62) times - F-word 38, s-word 20, other 4
Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular 3 (G, JC)
Violence: Few times - Moderate (woman tied up, gun threats; man pulls knife on another man)
Sexual Intercourse: None ; implied once as woman seduces hit man
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Several times (seduction scene, references to sex, crude remarks about woman's breasts)
Drug Abuse: Cigarette smoking, social drinking
Other: Woman shown sitting on commode; mockery of marriage
Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

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