Julia Duffy

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Intolerable Cruelty Review


OK
How can you not love the Coen brothers? The sibling creators of some of cinema's most classic films -- Fargo, Blood Simple, O Brother, Where Art Thou? -- are back at it, this time with their strangest production yet.

Oh, I don't mean strange as in Raising Arizona strange. I mean strange in that it's dearthly lacking the sophisticated humor we've come to expect from the duo. Strange in that it's so Hollywood-conventional as to make its existence puzzling at best, unnecessary at worst.

Continue reading: Intolerable Cruelty Review

Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd Review


Hmmm

"Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd" couldn't be dumberer if Harry and Lloyd had written the script themselves.

A cash-in prequel to 1994's guilty-pleasure gross-out comedy starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as two low-IQ nincompoops on a cross-country trip, this movie is an obtuse, half-assed, meandering, slapped-together, pointless and nearly plotless journey back to the high school days of the same two dolts.

Twenty-something actors Derek Richardson (aping Daniels' blank stare and frazzled Einstein hair) and Eric Christian Olsen (doing a sporadically passable Carrey impression, with the character's bowl haircut and chipped tooth) don't have much to work with as Harry and Lloyd. Having been co-written and absentee-directed by Troy Miller ("Jack Frost"), "Dumberer" has no hint of the low-brow wit of the first movie -- which was the debut of the writing-directing Farrelly Brothers ("There's Something About Mary").

Continue reading: Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd Review

Intolerable Cruelty Review


Grim

Like a bride who marries a man with bad habits thinking she'll be able to change him, in "Intolerable Cruelty," the eccentric writing-directing brothers Joel and Ethan Coen have married themselves to someone else's original script and the union hasn't turned out as happy as they'd hoped.

Aspiring to the snappy banter and chemistry of a Howard Hawks comedy, the unconventional brains behind "Raising Arizona," "Fargo" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" cast George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones as L.A.'s slickest divorce lawyer and the indomitably alluring serial gold-digger who ironically sets his heart aquiver.

The brothers rewrote the screenplay with distinctively Coen quirks, like Clooney's menacing, 87-year-old prune of a senior partner, who spends his fish-eye-lensed scenes attached to a life-support machine in a forebodingly dark, wood-paneled office. But between the picture's high-gloss big-studio sheen (something the brothers aren't accustom to) and its sometimes pedestrian high-camp conventions, "Intolerable Cruelty" seems to have lost both the underlying savvy that gives Coen Brothers comedies their soul and the evenly matched gender rivalries that gave Hawks' romances their heart.

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