In the 2004 film Closer, every affair between two people always has a scene alluding to it, except the one between Larry (Clive Owen) and Alice (Natalie Portman). She is only shown stripping in front of him. Larry claims that he slept with her, and Alice also accepts it after being pestered about it. However, Larry could have lied about it just to screw with Dan (Jude Law). Again, there is no scene in the movie that shows the two indulging in such an act. Could this affair have never taken place?
As an audience member, I believe Alice and Larry did not have sex. Alice lied to get rid of Dan. Here are my clues:
Clue 1: When Alice told Dan "the truth", she kept blinking her eyes and turned her head, not looking Dan. That's a sign of lying.
Clue 2: When Dan responded by "I knew it, Larry told me." Alice was shocked and in disbelief. Had they really had sex, she should have expected Larry would tell Dan to get even. A logical explanation to her shock is she was lying about the sex and did not know Larry lied too.
Clue 3: When Dan was nagging her about why she slept with Larry, she replied that she desired him and he asked nicely. Larry did not ask nicely but rather was rude in the strip club scene. And in that scene, there was no sign that Alice desired Larry. She treated Larry as a customer and did not even let him touch her.
If I were the writer of the movie, I would not let Alice and Larry have sex. That adds more depth and theatrical value to the play. It makes Alice the only one among the four who did not betray their lover (Anna and Dan slept together, Larry slept with a whore in New York). Yet she was a liar (who was hiding her identity to Dan) and a stripper (who was getting paid providing sexual fantasies). That the person who is more likely to have an affair does not cheat make the play more ironic and tragic.
Alice did not sleep with Larry. At the ending of the movie Dan is walking in the park where his dad took him and he finds himself with the names of people that gave their lives to save other people. Alice's name is there and it says Alice gave her life to save 3 children from a burning house. It's a metaphor. Dan Anna and Larry are the children and they acted childish.
Alice helped all of them through out the movie. She was the only one who did the right thing. When Dan asked her if she slept with Larry she realized that he did not love her and that the only reason he went back with her was because Anna had left him for Larry. Dan only wanted to know how Larry was better than him. Dan did not love Alice. She still loved Dan.
No they did not.
I don't believe so because when Dan reveals to her that "he knew" she slept with Larry (because Larry told him) and he just "wanted to hear it from her" (insecure, petty, threatened by Larry always), all this after she admits to him that "yes" she did sleep with Larry, it's clear to me that:
her admission was so devoid of spirit, very evident that it's been a well-calculated decision to admit this lie for her own hidden purposes (getting rid of an insecure Dan she can no longer respect etc), a choice she contemplated while he was out buying cigarettes and she decided she cannot love him anymore for her own reasons. Which was further confirmed to us with her cold, indifferent reception of the rose he gave her upon his return from getting his cigarettes, right before she admitted this lie about her sleeping with Larry. She just grew tired of Dan and was ready to say this to make him disappear, but also to subtly convince him that she is desired by men like Larry, a desperate ego boost she is making for her insecurities possibly as well. Because she must be pretty depressed to be with someone like Dan in the first place.
when she then learns that Larry "told" him, her facial reaction alone, disbelief at larry for having fabricated that, says it all. Had they actually slept together, her learning that Larry told Dan this detail would be no reason to shock her and baffle her like that.
Larry did in fact sleep with Alice this in the movie is portrayed when Dan is leaving Larry's office. Larry say's something along the lines "sorry buster, I couldn't forgive you". He used Dan's love/pet nickname that Alice gave him also he knew other intimate details about him, meaning she told him in an intimate setting.
In the film, it is heavily insinuated that they did have sex. In the play, upon which the film is based, however, there is a scene at a museum, in which Larry And Alice act as a couple, with Larry telling Anna about the fact that he and Alice are having sex. I'm not sure why this was cut from the film, as it helped to get Anna and Larry back together.
This is actually based on a play written by Patrick Marber. The same person adapted this for the movie. I would take into consideration that Larry is extremely honest throughout the movie/play and admitted it before anyone. Here is an interview on youtube and the writer says that trouble comes when the truth is revealed. Alice also warns Dan that when she is leaving a relationship she will simply tell them exactly what she tells Dan before admitting to sleeping with Larry. She would have no reason to lie to him after that. She is well prepared to drop him and move on.
Here is the entire play on stage.
Y’all didn’t get it, Alice definitely slept with Larry.
All the reasons above saying she didn’t rely on the love between Dan and Alice (untrue). But if that’s the case, why did she keep her real name secret for so long? She was a stripper who very much enjoyed the affection and cute, childish way Dan treated her. Once, in the end, she realized Dan was forcing her to be like that again and pretending, due to jealousy, competition and inferiority (she realized after many questions), she told the truth plain and simple. Even more honest when she said “I don’t love you since now”. She did love the way he treated her. This movie is very clever.
Dan, in his natural, unfaithful, and wrong attitude of most men thought (keep in mind that the day he met “Alice” he had another girlfriend whom was not Anna) he was being cruel and playing with them (not on purpose but in his endless search) i.e. a girl (who most of the movie appears as the least experienced and most ingenuous) and a woman (who was mature enough to realize he was not reliable).
In the end, going further into deeper analysis, Anna already knew Larry liked her based on his sexual desires and even though his ways were ordinary like most men or without passionate feelings, like Dan at some point always was, they were bearable because his attitudes were firm and steady which might lead her into a future with family and a good husband.
And one other thing, unfortunately, my personal experience tries to place for Anna choice is that every woman, in one way or another, always ends up giving up and enjoying a guy like Larry (which the answer might be written). Just like Alice slept with him and so did Anna stayed with him. The only thing missing is that Larry, like most guys, also has affairs, but unlike Dan he is not honest and brave enough to tell his partner, which puts us in a eternal loop, especially if Anna find out and starts doing the same (never knowing she made the right choice).