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Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore in 'Chloe'

Atom Egoyan's sex thriller "Chloe" is a pure guilty pleasure, if you take away that part about pleasure.

The devoted cast led by Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried really burrows into the roles, but the intense performances cannot conceal that these characters are shallow narcissists at their best and outright crazy people at their worst.

This marital story of infidelity, deceit and obsession is not much more absurd than "Fatal Attraction," one of the great guilty pleasures in screen history.

Yet "Chloe" rings false from the start. The story is dead on arrival from the moment suspicious wife Moore, convinced husband Neeson is cheating on her, hires call girl Seyfried to push the man's buttons and see if it's true.

There's something off, and off-putting, about each of these characters - they're so abnormal and their situation so contrived that it's impossible to sit back and enjoy the train wreck the way you can revel in Glenn Close murderously popping out of that bathtub one last time in "Fatal Attraction."

The tone and explicit sensuality of "Chloe" are reminiscent of earlier frank dramas from Egoyan such as "Exotica" and "Where the Truth Lies." But the sex in "Chloe" is pretty tame and fleeting, robbing it of another guilty-pleasure component.

So maybe you'll feel a little guilty peering in on their misfortunes. But it'll be hard to take much pleasure from the experience.

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