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Temptation is inevitable. Few of us get through long-term
relationships without at least a whisper of enticement from someone other than our partners. Just because the thought of a side-dish excites you, however, doesn’t mean you should act on your urges. Aside from the fact that cheating is one of the worst things you can do to another person, movies have taught us that affairs never end well.
That said, even the train wreck of infidelity can be a totally sexy sight on screen. So rather than sliding into the
DMs of an attractive stranger, firing up your Tinder account, or texting your ex, keep it (meaning your phone) in your pants and watch these films to vicariously experience the passionate heat of an affair without the earth-shattering consequences. Your future self and your conscience will thank you for it.
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Mandatory Movies Cheating
When suburban New York wife and mother Connie (the sultry Diane Lane) bumps into the young Frenchman bookseller Paul (Olivier Martinez) during a windstorm in the city, sparks fly. The lovers can’t get enough of each other, and every rendezvous is bolder than the last. (Masturbation, S&M, public bathroom sex, oh my!) When the husband’s (Richard Gere) suspicions get (ahem) aroused, he demands answers, and only two of those involved in this hot little love triangle will come out alive.
'The English Patient'
If you’re going to steal another man’s wife, do it with aplomb. When Hungarian map-maker Count Laszlo de Almásy (Ralph Fiennes) sets his sights on Katharine Clifton (Kristin Scott Thomas) during WWII, it’s instant obsession. He seems to be undressing her with his eyes every time they speak, and when they’re finally alone in a Cairo hotel room, he uses his hands. Afterwards, they bathe together. You’ll need a cold shower after this one because it just gets hotter from there on out as Count Almásy’s jealousy rages until he has Katharine all to himself...and pays the ultimate price for it.
Sarah Pierce (Kate Winslet) and Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson) are the hottest parents on the playground; both also happen to be in sexless marriages. A no-brainer, then, that they should start hooking up during a sweltering summer in suburban Massachusetts. When Brad asks Sarah to run away with him, she doesn’t hesitate, but fate has other plans.
If any movie will convince you not to cheat, it’s this one. Obituary writer Dan (Jude Law) is publishing a novel based on his girlfriend, wild child Alice (Natalie Portman). Anna (Julia Roberts) is a photographer whom he flirts with during a photo shoot. Then Anna meets dermatologist Larry (Clive Owens) by way of a dirty chat room snafu; but soon he becomes intrigued by Alice. The lives of these two couples continue to collide until partners have been swapped on the sly and everyone is fucking each other over. If you want to know how brutally mean adultery can get, this film will show you, no holds barred.
Based on the real-life toxic love story of Mexican painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, this film explores the kind of relationship that causes more pain than pleasure, yet keeps you coming back. Diego and Frida just can’t quit each other, except when they’re having affairs (in Frida’s case with both men and women). The moral: you might salvage a relationship post-adultery, but nothing will ever be the same again.
If you think cheating is a young man’s game, this film will prove you wrong. Troy (Denzel Washington) is the scrappy yet charming husband to Rose (Viola Davis). Troy is an expert bullshitter, but when his indiscretions get sloppy, there's no talking his way out of what he's done. Rose is forced to make a decision most women can’t even imagine having to contemplate. Without giving too much away, this movie will remind you to at least wrap it up if you’re going to get it someplace else.
'The End of the Affair'
Sarah Miles (Julianne Moore) is a Brit bored to death by her marriage to a government man, Henry (Stephen Rea), who’s never made her come. Thankfully, Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes), a restless writer that befriends the couple under the guise of writing a novel, has no qualms about showing her what she’s been missing. When their tawdry trysts suddenly end following a freak bomb drop at his apartment, Maurice uses his sleuthing skills to find out why. This film beautifully evokes the bittersweet torture that is being separated from the only one you really want.
Based on the real-life romance between poets Sylvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Ted Hughes (Daniel Craig), this tumultuous flick takes viewers from the first flush of love to its dark death. Ted is as prolific a lover as he is a writer, and the incessant infidelity wears Sylvia down until she takes drastic measures. Along the way, she writes the best poems of her career, proving that even infidelity can have an upside if you channel your anger appropriately.
'Girl on the Train'
Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) is a blackout drunk who becomes ridiculously fixated on a couple, Megan and Scott Hipwell, whom she sees every day from her seat on a commuter train. When Megan goes missing, Rachel appoints herself to uncover the tangled web of adultery and murder that ensue.
'To Die For'
Suzanne Stone (Nicole Kidman) is a fame-hungry newscaster who embarks on a documentary about teens to raise her profile on TV. One of them, a punk named Jimmy Emmett (Joaquin Phoenix) catches her eye, and she seduces him. Sex isn’t the only thing she wants from him, though. This campy film takes the May-December fetish and flips it on its head.