Here's what happens when Hollywood's finest start thinking way too much of themselves. First, Chazz Palminteri writes a screenplay based on his own play and then provides himself with a nice, juicy role. Then, Paul Mazursky directs the film and also acts in it. Then, Mazursky elects to fill some dead time in the film with Cher and Ryan O'Neal playing themselves as twenty-year-olds, leading Cher and O'Neal to think that, in some galaxy far, far away, they might still be capable of playing twenty-year-olds. The result? Four people on this planet are likely to enjoy this movie, and they've all been named in this paragraph.
Rarely are plays converted into tolerable movies. "Speed" was never a play. "The Terminator" was never a play. "Jurassic Park" was never a play. (Not that these were necessarily tolerable films, mind you -- Mr. Cranky's got a reputation to uphold.) Palminteri's screenplay is supposed to hearken back to thrillers like "Dial M for Murder" and "Sleuth," made in 1954 and 1972 respectively (back when Ryan O'Neal and Cher might have had a credible shot at non-octogenarian roles). Plays differ from movies in that plays, which feature people standing around and talking a lot, are boring as hell. Plays are made for really old people who can't hear very well and prefer to lock their eyeballs into one position if given the opportunity.
However, the dialogue in "Faithful" suggests that even the play was substandard. As Palminteri whines about fidelity, Cher tries to ridicule Ryan O'Neal for having a girlfriend with fake breasts. Repeat: Cher attempts to be convincing by making fun of people who have undergone plastic surgery. While we're exploring the boundaries of the known universe, why not have a few aliens fly our her rear end too?
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