- Movie Rating -

Unfaithfully Yours (1984)

| February 10, 1984

Unfaithfully Yours is a wacky screwball comedy that never gets out of first gear.  All the pieces are in place, the cast is first-rate, the idea is in place and yet director Howard Zieff can’t seem to figure out how to get thing moving.  I was bored during the set-up scenes, frustrated at the plot, and in the end just restless and ready to go home.

The movie stars one of the funniest people to work in movies, Dudley Moore as concert conductor Claude Eastman who is married to a beautiful woman Daniella, played by Nastassja Kinsky.  Through problems and misunderstandings way too complicated to explain, he begins to suspect that she is cheating on him with Maximillian Stein (Armand Assante), a well-known lothario with a reputation for courting married women.

Again, through plot developments too complicated to explain, Claude thinks that Max and Daniella are having an affair, not knowing that Max’s affair is with a different woman.  So, the middle section of the movie consists of a long and labored series of failed attempts to catch the two lovers in the act.  Meanwhile we sit there frustrated by the knowledge that if just two words were exchanged between Max and Claude, the whole plot would be revealed and the movie would be over.

I suppose that this is set up to be a tribute to the great screwball comedies of the 1930s, but those movies worked because they kept things moving.  The pacing here is so leaden that we feel aggravated instead of intrigued.  The back half of the movie is kind of funny with Moore fantasizing about his plan to get revenge and then the reality of that plan set in motion but by that point I had given up.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1984) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy