Critics on Chloe: term “Toronto gynecologist” is “somewhat amusing”

Critics on Chloe: term “Toronto gynecologist” is “somewhat amusing”

Amanda Seyfried and Julianne Moore in Chloe (Image: E1 Entertainment)

It’s opening day for Atom Egoyan’s saucy Toronto-based drama, Chloe, which means the reviews are out. Surprise, surprise—the Canadian critics gave it top marks (is there a three-star minimum for homegrown films?). But reaction down south hasn’t been so favourable; the New York Times, in particular, had choice words: “There are grown-up moviegoers who will appreciate Chloe… There are also teenage boys who get a hold of Playboy for the articles.”

Ouch. But, at least the Times could get past the Toronto setting, a problem for many American critics. From the New York Observer:

Julianne Moore stars as Catherine, a Toronto gynecologist (why this is a somewhat amusing turn of phrase, I cannot explain).

At the Charleston City Paper, the movie was seen as a good reason to avoid a Canadian-style health care system, which has caused us to turn into self-obsessed, sex-crazed wallowers.

The Toronto couple at the center of Chloe are attractive, with successful and challenging careers, a fantastic home, and an enviable amount of free time for coffee shops and brooding. Lots and lots of brooding. Knowing they have all their basic health care needs taken care of must give Canadians more time to fret and stew about interpersonal relationships.

It also gives us more time to read reviews of Atom Egoyan movies. From what we read, the New Yorker’s Anthony Lane was the only writer who managed to squeeze in a bizarre reference to the Olympics.

As the festivity of the Winter Olympics dies away, what is the next extravaganza that Canada has to offer? Welcome to Chloe, in which a Toronto-based gynecologist has a lesbian affair with a prostitute whom she suspects of having slept with her husband. If that isn’t a winter sport, I don’t know what is. Not unlike snowboard cross, perhaps, except that these contestants have lunchtime sex in hotels instead of knocking each other helmet first into the slush.

All that’s missing are igloo and dogsled jokes.

Chloe: Egoyan steams up T.O. [Toronto Star]
Chloe review [Globe and Mail]
• Chloe: still sweet thereafter [National Post]
Love triangle devised by a wary wife [New York Times]
Single white female [New York Observer]
Julianne Moore tries to catch her husband cheating in Chloe [Charleston City Paper]
Anthony Lane’s review [New Yorker]