Alfie

"Grim"

Alfie Review


With his insatiable appetite for the opposite sex, his cockney British chirp and his healthy confidence in his own good looks, Jude Law's modern-day Romeo romping through Alfie is a smoother-talking Austin Powers without the adolescent giggles.

How much is too much when it comes to Law? Before the female readers answer, consider this: The handsome Brit has his well-manicured hands in three current projects and will release three more films between now and year's end. Needless to say, your tolerance for Law's antics will determine how much you'll enjoy Alfie. Director Charles Shyer's mixed bag of tricks includes a continuous conversation through the imaginary fourth wall and a camera lens that's terrified to let Law wander too far out of frame.

This updated Alfie remakes a 1966 Best Picture nominee that starred Michael Caine as a womanizer learning a thing or two about his life and the ladies he lets into it. Law is a perfectly capable replacement. We certainly understand why women of all shapes, sizes, and colors would flock to this charmer. And the pearls of wisdom dispensed by this charming cad sound similar to this: "Never get involved with a single mum. They come with accessories."

But as "Gigolo Joe" starts working his way through a checklist of troubles, from an inadvertent pregnancy to a medical scare, we eventually start laughing at Alfie, not with him. The flawed and fragile girls Alfie ties in knots - from longtime flame Julie (Marisa Tomei) to temporary temptress Nikki (Sienna Miller) - turn out to be far more interesting case studies than he is.

Experimental at points yet wholly predictable, Alfie summarizes an entire season of Sex and the City observations about mating and dating into one decidedly dated package. Playwright Bill Naughton's original piece, touched up by screenwriter Elaine Pope, arrives at surface interpretations about the single man. He gets lonely around the holidays. He'll betray his best friend if the girl is pretty enough and the alcohol is flowing. He has a business plan but no desire to follow through on it. Raise your hand if any of this surprises you.

What damages this obsolete Alfie more is the film's limited message, which primarily speaks to a dwindling community of urban lotharios and insatiable insomniacs perusing singles bars in search of temporary companionship. In this age of cyber-dating, I'm not sure whose fantasy life Alfie is living... except for maybe Law's.

The DVD offers unfathomably copious extras, including two commentary tracks, deleted scenes, storyboards, featurettes, and much more.

"Let me tell you about the time I was on SNL with Ashlee Simpson..."



Alfie

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th November 2004

Box Office USA: $13.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $13.4M

Budget: $40M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 49%
Fresh: 73 Rotten: 77

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Alfie, as Julie, as Marlon, as Dorie, as Lu Schnitman, Jeff Harding as Phil, as Nikki, as Lonette, as Liz, as Uta

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