Thursday, October 18, 2012

10 Exceptional Cases of Husbands Interrogating Their Cheating Wives


There’s something so uncomfortable and real about a scene in which a film character interrogates his or her spouse about their fleeting fidelity. And after watching this scene for, I don’t know, the 100th time last week, my brain started churning as to the best cheating wife interrogations. 

Here are 10 of my favorites. Some are heartbreaking, others are jaw dropping, and some are just goddamned hilarious. Enjoy.

Woody Harrelson vs. Demi Moore
Indecent Proposal (1993)
After Harrelson and Moore’s characters have agreed to let Moore sleep with Robert Redford in exchange for one million dollars, the happily married couple vows to never discuss the incident again. Then insecurity takes hold. Moore is perfectly fine with brushing it off, but Harrelson can’t let it go, culminating in a vicious examination about the details of the night she spent away from him. Devastating shit.

Robert De Niro vs. Sharon Stone
Casino (1995)
Here’s an amusing one. After Sharon Stone’s Ginger has come home from slumming with her old pimp, Lester, De Niro’s Ace slowly grills her while having drinks. Like a lawyer cross-examining a criminal with a flimsy alibi, Ace shoots holes all through Ginger’s bullshit story, which ultimately results with De Niro repeating precisely how he would like Lester to end up: “Dead. Dead. Dead.”

Robert De Niro vs. Ashley Judd
Heat (1995)
I should’ve mentioned this earlier, but I’m taking a few liberties with this list, case in point, De Niro’s even-tempered bitching out of Ashley Judd in Heat. In the film, Judd is married to Val Kilmer, who plays De Niro’s gambling-addicted right hand man. When De Niro catches Judd stepping out on his boy, he bum rushes Judd in a shitty motel room and demands that she give her husband one final chance. If Kilmer fucks up again, De Niro will financially back Judd himself. And after De Niro tells her to get her stuff and go home, she does just that, and quick.

Russell Crowe vs. Kim Basinger
L.A. Confidential (1997)
One of the most powerful aspects of Curtis Hanson’s masterful L.A. Confidential is the reason as to why Crowe’s stern cop, Bud White, is so protective of women. No need to divulge the story here (because those involved explain it far more eloquently than I could), I will just say that Bud White doesn’t hurt women. In fact, he goes out of his way (and breaks the law) to protect them. So when White finds out that his prostitute girlfriend, Lynn (played to Oscar gold by Basinger) has balled his archenemy, Ed Exley (Guy Pearce), White weeps at her feet before slapping her hard (twice) and regretting it within a matter of milliseconds. Utterly gut wrenching.

Kevin Spacey vs. Annette Bening
American Beauty (1999)
“SMILE, you’re at Mr. Smiley’s!”

“We’ve met before, but something tells me you’re going to remember me this time.”

“No no, you… don’t get to tell me what to do… ever… again.”

That about sums it up.

John C. Reilly vs. Jennifer Aniston
The Good Girl (2002)
Once Jennifer Aniston’s moron husband figures out his wife has been cheating on him, Miguel Arteta’s satire turns deadly serious. Reilly (who may or may not be the least intimidating “big guy” of contemporary cinema) stands and slowly walks toward Aniston. He asks. She answers. He slaps. She cries. In the minutes that follow, Reilly’s character achieves an arc we didn’t know he was capable of, before calmly asserting that, “I need to get stoned.” Aaaand, we’re back.

Richard Gere vs. Diane Lane
Unfaithful (2002)        
One of the more disturbing interrogations on this list is Richard Gere’s lacerating verbal thrashing of Diane Lane in Unfaithful. This film doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves, which is a real shame, given the talent on display. During the scene in question, so many layers are revealed, that dedicating one paragraph of text to it is completely futile. Let me just say that “I wanted to kill you!” is perhaps the single greatest line delivery of Gere’s career. And Lane’s subsequent reaction to that sentence should’ve won her the Best Actress Oscar. Period.

Clive Owen vs. Julia Roberts
Closer (2004)
The one that started it all. The boss of all husband vs. wife bitch outs: Clive Owen’s extended, fucking brutal interrogation of Julia Roberts in Closer. He wants to know everything, in the frankest, most vivid detail possible, which Roberts reluctantly gives him. The result is as fine a film moment as anything released in the ‘00s. My jaw was literally dropped the first time I saw this movie. So goddamn perfect.

Anthony Mackie vs. Kerry Washington
She Hate Me (2004)
This is an age-old argument: what’s worse, the fact that your wife was cheating on you, or the fact that she was cheating on you with another woman? That is essentially the internal battle Anthony Mackie has with himself in the moments following the discovery of his fiancé going at it with another woman. Leave the roses on the ground, brother man.

Bill Nighy vs. Cate Blanchett
Notes on a Scandal (2006)
How would you respond to your spouse having an extended affair with a much younger student? I’m not entirely sure, but damn if Bill Nighy doesn’t nail the bitter, enraged tone once learning that his much younger wife has done just that. I mean, really, where do you even begin? What anger takes precedence: the fact that your wife cheated on you, or the fact that her cheating has made her a pedophile? Where to begin, indeed.

There are many more to name here, please feel free to share some of your favorites!

36 comments:

  1. Ooh, good list. Think you'll do one on the wives interrogating the husbands?

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    1. Thanks! Wives v. Husbands is set for tomorrow!

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  2. Interesting list...
    American Beauty is definitely my favourite. If I had to confront my cheating spouse, that would probably be the way I'd go. Just saying... Or or, another Annette Benning film, Being Julia, in which she kind of enacts out her husband's infidelity in a big stage production. Funs.

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    1. Ah the Being Julia one is definitely a great pick for wives v. husbands.

      There are so many ways to handle a conversation involving a cheating significant other. Depends on the situation, but I LOVE the way Spacey plays that. An ordinary guy with nothin' to lose.

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  3. Dude, don't mean to antagonize you but that is a weird topic to do a list.

    And thanks for the reminder. I have to watch Notes on a Scandal.

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    1. Ha, it is SO WEIRD and random, I know I know. But once it popped in, I couldn't get it out of my head, so oh well! Notes on a Scandal is bitchin'.

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  4. That is a great list. I felt sorry for those dudes. Especially John C. Reilly in The Good Girl. He just displayed I didn't expect from that character. He maybe a cuckhold but he's really a nice guy.

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    1. Thanks man. Yeah I agree, Reilly is a real nincompoop in that flick, but he is very well intentioned. That's such a sad scene there.

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  5. Closer is one of my favorite movies to quote. As it is yours.

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    1. Hell yeah man. The quotability of that film is never ending. Pure gold.

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  6. The battle in Closer is by far the best, but so is American Beauty's because of Spacey's reaction. He just doesn't give a shit anymore, and he doesn't care who the hell his wife balls. Awesome list, bud.

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    1. Thanks dude! I love how both of those scenes work so perfectly, but they are so very very different. Both are great in their own right. Spacey's blasé reaction is just priceless.

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  7. Haha. That scene should've won Owen the Oscar.

    Brilliant list. Especially dig the L.A. Confidential, American Beauty, Closer and Notes on a Scandal mentions.

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    1. Thanks dude! Clive fuckin' killed it in that role. I love Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby, but Clive deserved that Oscar. No doubt.

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  8. Ooh ... interesting idea for a list. This doesn't really qualify, but I immediately thought of George Clooney's character raging when he realizes he's been cuckolded, in Burn After Reading, and smashing up the dildo machine.

    I haven't seen most of these, and there are a few I have seen but barely remember. American Beauty is great, and I liked The Good Girl. Your description of the husband's character arc is hilarious -- “I need to get stoned.” Aaaand, we’re back.

    Casino sounds interesting. Any conversation centering on your wife's ex-pimp is bound not to go anywhere positive. I'm just sayin' ;-)

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    1. Hahah I LOVE that scene in Burn After Reading. So funny.

      Casino is a seriously awesome movie. Such a fast three hours. I highly recommend it.

      Glad you liked the list!

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  9. Nice list! I LOVE that scene in American Beauty. "We've met before, but something tells me you're going to remember me this time." Brilliant.

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    1. Thanks! Spacey is such a classic dick in that scene. Hilarious shit.

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  10. Oh, this is terrific. Clive Owen should have won Oscar for Closer, such a raw, animalistic performance and that scene you have here was amazing. The Casino one is awesome too - "You're a good actress. Good fucking actress".

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    1. Thanks! Oh I totally agree, Clive is god in that film. And De Niro bitching out Stone is just as good as it gets.

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  11. Clive Owen in Closer was fucking amazing! I don't generally like him but just, that movie is so.. it's scary realistic you know, it doesn't wrap love in this neat little package and makes it just filth. I watched it ages ago and I can still remember the scene where he goes to the strip club and the conversation he has with Natalie.. wow, the only movie I liked Natalie Portman 100%.

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    1. Nice, couldn't agree more. Your thoughts on Natalie are exactly how I feel toward Julia, an actress I don't really like. But in Closer, she plays that part to perfection. Great work all around. Thanks for reading/commenting!

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    2. Well, to be honest, I don't find Julia Roberts worth mentioning as far as her current career goes. She seems to be all in for the money now and takes these awful roles.. I mean, she was the 90's but I can't see her being current now.

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    3. Yep, could not agree more with you.

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  12. Gosh, what great picks. Closer is one of my favourite films, Clive Owen was brilliant in that scene. American Beauty and Heat are also great.

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    1. Thanks! Glad you like the picks. Closer, Am Beauty and Heat are just incredible. Love the hell out of all of them.

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  13. Very creative idea for a list - which is what sets your blog apart from others! I haven't seen many on this list, but I hope this is something you only experience through movies and not in real life, dude.

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    1. aw thanks! Currently only experiencing this through the movies, for sure! Previously, though, is another story...

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  14. Interesting list, Alex. I actually don't like movies about cheating, but it's certainly a good material for actors and some of them you showcased here definitely show their chops.

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    1. That it is. I don't know if I like these movies because they're about cheating, I just like good flicks in general, ya dig?

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  15. It is a very cool idea for a list, and some of the interrogations are fantastic- my favorite is Closer, too. I really need to see Before the devil knows your dead and Heat soon!

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    1. Thanks! Before the Devil and Heat are truly epic, cannot recommend them highly enough. Closer rocks!

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  16. That scene from 'Closer' was so intense. I felt like I was the one who had cheated and being interrogated "I'M SORRY CLIVE I DIDN'T MEAN TO DO....Oh wait..." LOL

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    1. Hahhaha that's hilarious. Dude will wreck your life. "You're so clever...."

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  17. I can't believe I missed this one. I've seen the wives interrogating husbands article but somehow missed this one lol. I like all of these (especially Closer, but then again, you really can't get much better than that one) but I would like to present an alternate with Liev Schreiber's brutal interrogation of Diane Lane in A Walk On The Moon. The line, "..Because to me you don't exist anymore," is just earth shattering and considering what Schreiber's character does next only hit all the harder. It's no closer, but it's damn powerful if you ask me.

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    1. Oh man, I forgot all about that scene from A Walk on the Moon. You know, that's actually a rather underrated film in general. I really love Lane's work there. Great call!

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