Laws of Attraction

"Grim"

Laws of Attraction Review


Heard a good lawyer joke lately? If not, there may be several to be found amongst the bickering and backstabbing in the romantic comedy Laws of Attraction, the easiest gag being the film's unbelievable premise. Two top-of-their-game divorce attorneys, who share nothing in common other than their contempt for one another, fall in love and get married!

Are you laughing yet? You should be, considering Attraction tries to emulate the razor-edge wit of Adam's Rib, the classic 1940s comedy on which this film is based. Instead, Attraction hinges too much on a lifeless plot where all of the action is fueled by an overabundance of annoying banter between its two stars.

Julianne Moore plays Audrey Miller, a woman who takes great pleasure in her winning record inside the courtroom. Outside the walls of justice however, Audrey is insecure and alone. Instead of going to rock concerts on Saturday nights with her progressive mother (Frances Fisher), Audrey chooses to stay in, and binge on junk food. She's perfectly content in her little world until the suave, unbeaten attorney Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan) arrives in town, ready to oppose her in a high-profile divorce case.

From the very start, insults fly between the two. Jabs are thrown in court, during television interviews, on each other's voicemails, and even in the men's restroom. And it seems that no matter where Audrey goes, Daniel somehow manages to follow. Even though Daniel wins their initial encounter, in every subsequent case Audrey gets, she is pitted against Daniel. After the first few run-ins, these tirelessly manufactured efforts to put them together start to wear us down, as does their barrage of bickering.

Audrey and Daniel's fighting does eventually stop (about time), though it's not because they've run out of things to fight about. The war of words is just taken over by the litigants in their newest case. Rock star Thorne Jamison (Michael Sheen) and his wife Serena (Parker Posey) are in a bitter feud over the couple's Irish castle. Audrey and Daniel go to Ireland to interview the castle's staff, but instead of preparing for the case, they end up getting married during an impromptu ceremony!

Married!? How can they realistically even be a couple, let alone get married? They have absolutely no chemistry! Writers Aline Brosh McKenna and Robert Harling seem entirely content on creating a fantasy world based on plot contrivances and predictability. The story goes nowhere remotely interesting. For every moment Audrey and Daniel fight, the degree of believability that they can be together is further distanced. This war-of-the-roses effect proved just as ineffective in the Coen brother's Intolerable Cruelty.

To the film's credit, there are some pungent one-liners that effectively set the mood of discontent and provide for some generous laughs. But when those run their course, the only thing we're left holding is one bad, long-winded lawyer joke.

The DVD includes a smattering of deleted scenes, including an alternate ending.

That's Brosno-tainment!



Laws of Attraction

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th April 2004

Box Office USA: $17.8M

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: Deep River Productions, Irish Dreamtime, Initial Entertainment Group (IEG)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 17%
Fresh: 25 Rotten: 119

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Beau St. Clair, , David T. Friendly, ,

Starring: as Daniel Rafferty, as Audrey Woods, as Thorne Jamison, as Serena, as Sara Miller, as Judge Abramovitz

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