A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Chloe is an adults-only tale of sex, betrayal, deception, and obsession. Teens might be interested in seeing the red-hot Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!, Jennifer's Body, Dear John), who appears partly naked here, in her first grown-up role, but families should beware: The movie is extremely frank with its sex scenes (including one between two women) and sex talk, and there is some strong language (including "f--k" and "s--t"), though drinking and violence are mild.
What's the story?
Gynecologist Catherine Stewart (Julianne Moore) suspects her professor husband (Liam Neeson) of having an affair (or affairs) with his female students, so she hires a pretty young girl, Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), to seduce her husband and prove her suspicions. Chloe meets with Catherine to give her reports, and subtly tries to seduce the older woman and eventually succeeds. When Catherine subsequently rejects her, Chloe has sex with Catherine's teenage son Michael (Max Thieriot), as a way of "getting closer" to Catherine. Things grow dangerously out of hand as Chloe becomes more and more obsessed and unhinged.
Is it any good?
The strong characters and director Atom Egoyan's patient, thoughtful mood and pacing make this an above-average effort. The Canada-based, Oscar-nominated Egoyan has plenty of experience with adult dramas about sex, including Exotica (1995) and Where the Truth Lies (2005), and his new CHLOE -- which is a remake of the 2003 French film Nathalie -- comes with his usual brand of chilly intelligence and maturity. The four characters behave and relate to one another in emotionally realistic ways, and the fatal lack of communication that leads to their troubles seems painfully genuine.
Where the movie goes slightly wrong is in the thriller portion, wherein the Chloe character behaves more and more irrationally, out of love and/or obsession for Catherine. Her obsession turns homicidal, and the final act of the movie becomes an almost standard-issue Hollywood erotic thriller. Not to mention the odd coincidences that bring all these characters together.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the lack of communication drives a wedge in between these family members. Which makes more sense: to sneak around and find evidence, or to talk openly? Which is more difficult? Why? Do the communication difficulties in the movie reflect those in your family? What can you do to improve family communication?
What lessons about sex does this movie teach, if any? Do you think the movie portrays realistic intimacy between adults? If teens fans of Amanda Seyfried see the movie: Does seeing her in this adult role change the way you think about her? Do you like her more or less? Why?
Is Chloe a bad person? Is she crazy, or just in love?
- In theaters: March 26, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: July 13, 2010
- Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson
- Director: Atom Egoyan
- Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong sexual content including graphic dialogue, nudity and language
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