There is something tantalizing about Chloe, the new drama from perceptive Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan (Adoration). Yet, an intriguing premise comes off as smoke and mirrors rather than the complex, charged drama it aspires to be.
This intriguing interpretation of the French "Nathalie" stars Julianne Moore (A Single Man), Amanda Seyfried (Dear John) and Liam Neeson ("Clash of the Titans"). It delves into the idea that "if the one you love was lying to you, how far would you go to find the truth?"
From Moore's Catherine wife of husband David (Neeson), it's something that might have more resonance given the Tiger Woods scandal. After accepting his outgoing nature with relative ease, Catherine now realizes he's made a misstep and she wants to get to the root of it.
Seyfried's titular high-class "escort" is the one she retains to seduce him and report back to her. Chloe is reminded that "he's not the client", and what gets interesting to some is the nature of the relationship between the ladies. Things gradually get a bit out of control with qualities among the three on the obsessive side.
Scribe Erin Cressida Wilson seems to have Fatal Attraction on her mind with Egoyan trying to build a suspense drama that falls with its melodramatic flourishes. Its insinuations into relationships doesn't really blossom from its less stylistic intentions. The audience is put in Catherine's shoes with the instability she's experiencing through the metamorphosis of her marriage. And, Egoyan works well enough from the script at the outset to define the personal conflicts, even between Catherine and her sullen college-age son (Max Thieriot).
At its center, Chloe puts some lush eroticism into what makes us all human, from our needs when it comes to attractiveness. But, as well as the acting may come across with Moore and Neeson from the factor of age and Seyfried just realizing the character's aplomb with arousal, there's something unsure or uncertain on the control of physical and emotional desire that leaves it all more muted than at least exhilirating to an extent. In arguably his most mainstream effort to date, Egoyan's relatively sleek look at image and self-worth benefits at times from Paul Sarossy's eavedropping lensing, designing filled with mirrors and glass and pulsating music from Mychael Danna.