Everybody feels that seven-year-itch, even if it hasn't been seven years. The temptation to adultrify yourself is common to practically everybody who's married–it's probably not a good idea, though, as these six movies about adultery can attest. They're uniformly brutal to watch, so they might serve to convince you or the one you love not to go down the tunnel of love into adultery. Or they might serve as a fun two-hour escape from a loveless marriage. Either way, here you go:
"Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans" FW Murnau's mega-acclaimed silent film is about how love can conquer all–even an attempted murder. The story goes like this: 'The Man' grows bored with his quiet and idyllic life with 'The Wife', so he travels to the big bright city to have an affair with 'The Woman', who convinces him to kill his wife and move to the city with her. And he tries, too, but at crunch time he can't bring himself to do it. Here's the kicker: after her husband tried to strangle her, 'The Wife' takes him back! Somehow your marriage is starting to seem a little better, right?
"Double Indemnity" Another tale of marriage and murder, "Double Indemnity" follows Phyllis Dietrichson, who buys a life insurance policy for her abusive husband from Walter Neff. But there's an unwritten, but still agreed-upon, clause in the contract that has Neff helping Dietrichson to murder her husband. They proceed to do it, but as you might imagine, their romance isn't smooth sailing from then on. The lesson: murder makes a terrible first date–maybe try dinner and a movie instead. Can't go wrong with the classics.
"The Soft Skin" Francois Truffaut's underrated adultery drama shows what can happen when a person neglects his or her marriage in favor of a new fling. The worst-case scenario of a jealous wife exploding into violence is explored here, but before you call the ending unrealistic or melodramatic, remember that Truffaut based it on a real newspaper article. Sometimes the truth is as unbelievable as fiction.
"Double Suicide" This Japanese drama is stylized to the extreme. The sets often have the abstract look of a splatter painting, and there are black-masked stage directors walking around and influencing the action onscreen. But that doesn't really hamper the emotional impact of the story of a samurai-era husband who falls in love with a prostitute (one that he's not married to), and in classic Japanese fashion they agree to commit suicide together. It might not be a very realistic situation in modern times, but it's undeniably brutal to watch.
"Dressed to Kill" Brian DePalma's horror/thriller shows Angie Dickinson on an afternoon tryst with a mysterious stranger. He picked her up in an art museum, but she becomes a bit alarmed when she finds a note from a doctor to the man telling him he's got a venereal disease. That becomes less of a problem for Angie when she gets cut up by a sinister blonde in an elevator. Don't cheat, kids.
"Fatal Attraction" One of the definitive movies about adultery, "Fatal Attraction" turns the phenomenon of 'adulture' into a full-on horror movie. Luckily for Michael Douglas, he's got a badass wife to protect him from his fling (Glenn Close) once she goes nuts and starts rampaging through their house with a kitchen knife. But the family doesn't emerge unscathed: RIP that rabbit that Close cooks in a pot.