Production[ edit ] According to actor Gere, an early draft of the screenplay, which he read several years ago, presented the Sumners as suffering from a dysfunctional sexual relationship. It gave Connie some justification for having an affair. According to the actor and to director Lyne, the studio wanted to change the storyline so that the Sumners had a bad marriage with no sex, to create greater sympathy for Connie.
Both men opposed the change; Lyne in particular felt that the studio's suggestions would have robbed the film of any drama: I loved the idea of the totally arbitrary nature of infidelity. His character was portrayed as French once Martinez was cast. Lyne said, "I think it helps one understand how Connie might have leapt into this affair—he's very beguiling, doing even ordinary things.
According to Martinez, "The story that was invented before was much more sensual, erotic and clear. But she's sympathetic, and I think so many sexy women tend to be tough and hard at the same time. In particular, he wanted Gere to gain 30 pounds and left donuts in the actor's trailer every morning. After reading the script, Biziou felt that the story was appropriate for the classic 1.
During pre-production, Biziou, Lyne and production designer Brian Morris used a collection of still photographs as style references. These included photos from fashion magazines and shots by prominent photographers. Principal photography started on March 22, and wrapped on June 1, with Lyne shooting in continuity whenever possible. The film was primarily shot in New York City. During the windstorm sequence where Connie first meets Paul, it rained and Lyne used the overcast weather conditions for the street scenes.
The director also preferred shooting practical interiors on location so that the actors could "feel an intimate sense of belonging", Biziou recalls. The cinematographer also used natural light as much as possible. In a scene taking place in an office, the director pumped it full of smoke, an effect that "makes the colors less contrasty, more muted". We had a special doctor who was there almost all the time who was shooting people up with antibiotics for bronchial infections".
Lane acquired an oxygen bottle in order to survive the rigorous schedule. Lyne's repeated takes for these scenes were demanding for the actors, especially for Lane, who had to be emotionally and physically fit for the scenes. Once on the set, they felt uncomfortable until several takes in.
She said, "My comfort level with it just had to catch up quickly if I wanted to be the actress to play it. Lane said that Lyne would often shoot a whole magazine of film, "so one take was as long as five takes. By the end, you're physically and emotionally shattered. Biziou often used two cameras for the film's intimate scenes to reduce the number of takes that had to be shot. I tried to explore the guilt, the jealousy—that's what I'm interested in. It imposed a "particularly jarring 'Hollywood' final line", which angered Gere.
Following negative reactions from test audiences, the studio reinstated the original ending;  a few weeks before the film was to open in theaters, Lyne asked Gere and Lane to return to Los Angeles for re-shoots of the ending. Lyne also thought the new ending "would be more interesting and provoke more discussion,"  saying he intentionally "wanted to do a more ambiguous ending, which treats the audience much more intelligently.
CNN film critic Paul Tatara wrote, "The audience when I saw this one was chuckling at all the wrong times, and that's a bad sign when they're supposed to be having a collective heart attack. The play of lust, romance, degradation, and guilt on her face is the movie's real story. Whether it's her initial half-distrustful tentativeness, her later sensual abandon or her never-ending ambivalence, Lane's Constance seems to be actually living the role in a way no one else matches, a way we can all connect to.
That screenplay helps to ground a film whose visual imagination hovers somewhere between soap opera and a portentous pop surrealism. All that money spent, all that talent wasted, all that time gone forever, and for what?
It's an ill movie that bloweth no man to good. It's a shame he substitutes the mechanics of suspense for the real suspense of what goes on between a man and a woman, a husband and a wife. Constance recalling her first tryst with Paul as she takes a train home. It's what everyone talked about after they saw her. A day before that, Lyne held a dinner for the actress at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Critics and award voters were invited to both.