A Film Lover’s Guide To Having An Affair

Tuesday, February 22 by

So you’ve decided to have an affair. Good for you. Cheating on one’s partner is one of the most rewarding things a person can experience. Just kidding! Unless you’re a complete scumbag, it’s a non-stop roller-coaster ride of fear, anxiety and unrelenting guilt. Sure, the sex itself is fun, but you pay the price.

That being said, some of you are still going to try, and chances are, you’re going to get caught. However, thanks to the countless films that have been made about the subject, you can learn from the mistakes of others, even if the “others” in question happen to be fictional. No, we’re not talking about “Lost.” What we are talking about is A Film Lover’s Guide to Having an Affair.

It’s All About the Details (Brokeback Mountain)

Remember, cheating isn’t just one lie. It’s a million little lies. As such, you’re going to have to remember an amazing amount of details. It doesn’t matter if you’re having an affair at the office, or “trimming the rose” with an old cowboy friend out in the woods. You need to think things through. For example, in Brokeback Mountain, the main characters use the cover story of a fishing trip as an excuse to meet up and have gay sex. It’s not a bad story, except for the fact that one of their wives realizes that the fishing poles were never even used. The devil is in the details.

Commit to the Lie (Sideways)

Aside from remembering the details, it’s imperative that you commit to the lie. You can’t half ass it. After all, as George Costanza once said, “It’s not a lie if you believe it.” A great example of of this type of thinking can be found in Sideways. When Jack is attacked by a spurned lover, he is left with a broken nose. Unable to tell his fiancee the truth, he concocts the story of a minor car crash. In order to sell the story, he goes the extra mile by actually crashing his friend’s car. Jack is committed to the lie, even if he isn’t committed to his fiancee.

Don’t Trust Your Friends (The Last Kiss)

If you’re going to cheat, do not involve your friends under any circumstances. First of all, it’s not fair to them. Second of all, despite what you think, they can’t be trusted. Third, and most importantly, they’ll probably f*ck it up, even if it’s unintentional. It’s hard enough to keep track of your own lies. How in the world do you expect your friends to pull it off? In The Last Kiss, Michael is using his friend Chris as cover for meeting with another woman. When Michael’s girl friend runs into Chris sans Michael, Chris is left in a helpless situation, and Michael’s cover is instantly blown.

Please don’t judge me for having seen this film.

Hide Your House Pets (Fatal Attraction)

No matter how cool your partner in crime might be, chances are you’re cheating with a raving lunatic. Crazy people love drama, which is why they’re drawn to married people in the first place. As such, don’t give them any more details then absolutely necessary. Don’t talk about your home life, don’t talk about your kids, don’t talk about how you leave a spare key hidden under a rock next to you drive way. And if you’re cheating with someone who already knows about your personal life, you better keep an eye on your house pets, or they might end up as dinner À la Fatal Attraction.

Deal with the Guilt (Extract)

Unless you are a sociopath, you are going to feel guilty about cheating. If you can’t handle it, don’t cheat. If you do cheat, suck it up and admit you’re a scum bag. Don’t try to justify your actions. More importantly, don’t try to make it about your spouse in order to alleviate your own guilty conscience. In Extract, Joel wants to cheat, but doesn’t want to hurt his wife. In order to justify his urges, he hires a pool buy to seduce wife, his logic being that if she cheats first, he has a free ticket to bang someone else. As you’d expect, the plan blows up in his face. The lesson here is that it’s all or nothing. If you’re going to cheat, deal with it.

Make Sure Your Partner’s Grandmother Isn’t a Black Dude In Drag (Diary of a Mad Black Woman)

Remember, if you get caught cheating, you’re not just going to piss off your partner. You’re going to piss off your partner’s entire family. That’s why before you cheat, it’s so important to make sure that your partner’s grandmother isn’t actually a big black dude in drag. If so, you’re probably going to be subjected to gun violence and heavy-handed Christian overtones. Not to mention, all of you’re stuff will probably be destroyed via chainsaw. It’s bad enough to have to sit through a Tyler Perry movie. Imagine having to live through it.

Don’t Introduce Your Lover to Your Younger, More Attractive Daughter (The Graduate)

This is specific to older women who are having affairs with younger men. If you find yourself in this situation, do not, under any circumstances, introduce your lover to your younger, more attractive daughter. Don’t buy into the “cougar” nonsense. It’s important to realize that no one really wants to be with an older woman, and you are being used for cheap and easy sex. You are not a bottle of wine. You are a more like a jug of milk. No one prefers old milk to new milk. As The Graduate shows us, your daughter is a newer, better version of you. Keep her out of the picture.

Get Permission (Hall Pass)

Is it really cheating if your partner says it’s OK? That’s between you and your god (or gods). But if Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that the best affairs are the ones where your partner has given you the go ahead. Of course, Hollywood has also taught us that these arrangements usually end up in a madcap comedy of errors where both partners realize that they don’t want anyone else, so what’s the worst that could happen? Oh right, feelings of jealousy and bitterness followed by a painful breakup.

If Possible, Get Paid (Indecent Proposal)

At the end of the day, cheating is a lot of hard work. And isn’t hard work supposed to be rewarded? All that lying and sneaking around certainly takes its toll, and you deserve some compensation. If you can somehow manage to get paid out of the deal, like the film Indecent Proposal, take the money and run, especially if you’re married. After all, once your spouse hires a divorce lawyer, you’re going to need all the cash you can get.