I hope you enjoy the second (and final) installment of this admittedly random (but no less fun) series!
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Honey, you don’t know the half of it.
Lorraine Bracco vs. Ray Liotta
Molly Hagan vs. Matthew Broderick
Toni Collette vs. Greg Kinnear
Dinner with Friends (2001)
Tom (Kinnear) has stepped out on his wife, Beth (Collette) by sleeping with a hot, young travel agent. So when he shows up to their house after his flight is cancelled, Beth wants nothing to do with him. But Tom wants answers. He wants to know why Beth has ousted him to their best friends. So, here, we have the cheater play victim while the victim play the abused. Until she decides to fight back.
Amanda Peet vs. Ben Affleck
Changing Lanes (2002)
There’s A LOT more going on in this scene than a wife casually confronting her cheating husband, but damn. I’ve never seen a spousal interrogation like this one before.
(Props to Nick of Cinema Romantico for bringing this scene, which I had ashamedly forgotten about, back to my attention.)
Laura Linney vs. Liam Neeson
“Haven’t I been open to everything you have asked?!” she screams at him through tears. It’s utterly devastating to watch Kinsey slowly wear her down. But, in the end, she gets hers. And then some.
Michelle Williams vs. Heath Ledger
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Years after Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) and his tortured wife, Alma (Williams) have divorced, they share a seemingly innocent kitchen sink moment after Thanksgiving dinner. She asks him if he still sees his pal, Jack Twist, before sneakily diving into an attack on Del Mar’s frequent weekend getaways with Twist. The consequence of her action never fails to shake me, and, quite frankly, should’ve resulted in Oscars for both of the actors involved.
Jacinda Barrett vs. Zach Braff
The Last Kiss (2006)
Leaving his pregnant fiancé home while he goes partying with a college coed, Zach Braff returns to his once-humble abode in the midst of an ambush. His wife knows that he’s been out with another woman, and through means of convincing intimidation, she forces Braff to relent what he has done. She tells him it’s over and begs him to leave. He doesn’t. Screams are heard, knives are drawn, and it all comes tumbling down. One question: given the strength of her performance here, why the hell isn’t Jacinda Barrett in more movies?
Kate Winslet vs. Gregg Edelman
Little Children (2006)
How is a wife expected to respond to walking in on her husband jerking off to porn while sniffing a small pair of panties? Well, for starters, how about telling him, “We need to talk.”
Hours later, when he’s overly confident and ready for that chat, you can really win the battle by telling him, “I’m tired,” and walking off. Which is precisely what Kate Winslet expertly does here.
Marisa Tomei vs. Philip Seymour Hoffman
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)
A bit of an admitted spin, as Tomei is technically the one doing the cheating in this film. But even after packing her bags and walking toward the door with all her luggage (luggage that Hoffman smugly does not help her carry), and even after admitting that she’s been balling Hoffman’s brother for months, we still feel that she is the victim.
Hoffman's character is so closed off and shut down, it's as if Tomei was using her affair as a means of waking him up. And still, she's the one doing the interrogation. And who can forget Hoffman's steady, silent reaction to this news? Perfect. Just perfect.