MoviesNegative (Acquired Taste)

Fatal Affair (2020) – Review/ Summary (Spoilers)

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“Fatal Affair” is tame, predictable, and lacks any sort of chemistry between its lead actress and her co-stars.


Director(s)Peter Sullivan
Screenplay ByPeter Sullivan, Rasheeda Garner
Date Released (Netflix)7/16/2020
Genre(s)Crime, Drama, Horror, Thriller
Duration1 Hour 29 Minutes
RatingTV-14
Noted Cast
EllieNia Long
MarcusStephen Bishop
DavidOmar Epps

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Plot Summary

Ellie is a highly successful lawyer whose husband, due to a recent accident, hasn’t been as intimate as she likes. So, when a college acquaintance approaches her and woos her one night, she has a moment of weakness. But, with her calling it quits and him not willing to give up so easily, a moment’s mistake threatens her marriage and multiple people’s lives.

Cast & Characters

Ellie (Nia Long)

Ellie (Nia Long) looking at herself.
Ellie (Nia Long)

Brief Description

Ellie is a successful attorney who decides to leave the city and open a small firm that doesn’t focus on huge, multi-million dollar cases. Also, she is a mother of one, a daughter who is in college, Berkeley specifically, as well as the wife of her college sweetheart.

Marcus (Stephen Bishop)

Marcus (Stephen Bishop) in his new kitchen.
Marcus (Stephen Bishop)

Brief Description

An architect who, after a recent accident, had to take time off, and due to their rehabilitation, they became distant to their wife, Ellie.

David (Omar Epps)

David (Omar Epps) starting to get upset.
David (Omar Epps)

Brief Description

Someone who knew Ellie in college, over 20 years ago, who comes back into her life just as she is leaving her old firm Weissman and Tanner and hopes to reconnect.

Low Point

You May Never Feel Invested In Ellie’s Relationships

When it comes to Ellie, nearly everyone feels disconnected. Her relationship to her husband, Marcus, doesn’t leave you feeling there is, or was a spark. If anything, they have the kind of relationship which seemingly lasted because they had a kid and got comfortable. Then with David, even when things were good, you weren’t fanning yourself or wishing Long, and Epps starred in more movies together. It’s just dry, uninspiring, and scripted.

On The Fence

It’s What We Usually Get Once A Year

Nearly every year we get a thriller starring one or two well known Black actors with there being one person with a mental illness that, thanks to a single act of kindness or intimacy, they lose their mind. “Fatal Affair” follows what its predecessors have done, but, with being TV-14, it lacks any sort of sexual content or violence to at least give it the occasional pop.

Mind you, the acting is decent, though far from what you’d expect from veterans in the game. However, if these types of films are your thing, while it won’t make any of your top lists, you’ll be okay with watching it straight through.

Overall Rating

Would Watch Again? – One and Done

Rating: Negative (Acquired Taste)

“Fatal Affair” might be the type of movie that just isn’t that good without an audience. Maybe people calling stuff out at the screen is necessary to see this as good? Because, as is, it’s predictable, formulaic, and a disappointment. Granted, one you can watch without major issues, but its familiarity keeps it from being anything you’ll want to view again.

Where To Watch

Fatal Affair Ending Explained (Spoilers)

So, with Marcus falling off a cliff and being so injured he ended up in a body cast, that made things difficult for Ellie and him to be intimate, so that caused them to become distant. Enter David, who was a tech consultant for Ellie’s former firm, before she ventured out on her own, that is also a hacker. Which he openly says, and this allows him to threaten Ellie multiple times when it becomes clear Ellie doesn’t want to have an affair or leave Marcus.

Thus leading to your usual, “If I can’t have you” situation where everyone close to Ellie is targeted, and her friend, as well as her assistant, dies. Her daughter and husband would have too but Ellie, temporarily, knocks David out, but doesn’t finish the job, and after more back and forth, David doesn’t die in a spectacular fashion. Rather, he falls off a cliff.

Anti-climatic isn’t it?

Sequel Potential

With David dead, unless he ended up in a cast like Marcus did, which is unlikely, there is no sequel potential.

It's What We Usually Get Once A Year - 72%
You May Never Feel Invested In Ellie's Relationships - 64%

68%

"Fatal Affair" might be the type of movie that just isn't that good without an audience. Because, as is, it's predictable, formulaic, and a disappointment. Granted, one you can watch without major issues, but its familiarity keeps it from being anything you'll want to view again.

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Amari Allah

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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