The Reel Review

C

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas (Knives Out, No Time to Die) star in this Hulu erotic thriller about a wealthy New Orleanian who allows his wife to have affairs and flaunt them in front of him as long as she remains in their dysfunctional marriage. When her sexy boyfriends start turning up dead, their friends suspect he may be the culprit.

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas in Deep Water.

Deep Water is an adaptation of the 1957 novel from Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley) and the first film from director Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction, 9 1/2 Weeks) since 2002’s Unfaithful. Visually, the H2O-themed story, about that self-absorbed couple that is always the source of drama among their friend group, is fine. But everything else about it is phoned in. The screenplay from Sam Levinson (Euphoria) and Zack Helm (Mr. Magorium’s Magic Emporium) is lazy, dull and really goofy. Affleck broods a lot and de Armas is constantly horny. For an erotic thriller, Deep Water is neither erotic nor is it even remotely thrilling.

Ben Affleck in Deep Water.

Tracy Letts, Lil Rel Howery, Jacob Elordi (Euphoria) and Finn Wittrock round out the main cast, which oddly, also features characters that appear and disappear without any explanation. As if that isn’t bizarre enough, Deep Water devolves into an unintentionally hysterical, totally bonkers third act. Hey – at least the precocious young daughter is super cute. Just get her out of that house.

REEL FACTS

• The film adaptation’s ending differs greatly from that of the 1957 novel.

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas from her Instagram account.

• Ana de Armas dated Ben Affleck for about a year and briefly lived with him in Los Angeles after filming Deep Water in New Orleans in early 2020.

• Adrian Lyne, now 81, was nominated for an Oscar for directing the 1987 erotic thriller, Fatal Attraction, which starred Glenn Close and Michael Douglas.

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