Intolerable Cruelty (Blu-ray + Digital HD with UltraViolet)
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Clooney plays Miles Massey, the most prominent divorce lawyer in southern California. A man so good at what he does he has a prenuptial contract named after him. Massey's good and he knows it. Near the beginning of the film, he and his assistant, Wrigley (Paul Adelstein), are chatting about how boring Massey's life has become while a sweating client sits between them as the client's wife describes how she was used as a sex slave. Massey is that confident of himself.
And confidence is what Clooney is all about. He is simply incredible. Swaggering around like a peacock while checking to make sure his teeth are clean, Clooney gives his best performance. There is no denying his charm here. Even when he's being a prig.
Enter Marylin Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a woman who's only goal is to marry a rich man, catch him in some indiscretion and divorce him for half of what he's worth. She wants to be independent she claims. Massey falls for her completely. She is his match in game-playing and confidence and he must have her.
Thus sets up the Coens' romantic comedy farce. It's bizarre at times, but humorous throughout as one coincidental incident sets-up another and turns all the characters on both of their ears. This is probably their fluffiest piece ever, but highly entertaining nonetheless.
The plot wriggles and squirms, involves and discards without ever falling into the trap of becoming too slow, sentimental or boring and various recurring jokes and camera shots from other Coen brothers movies will keep the viewer entertained even after the6th or 7th run through. The only thing that becomes stale is Zeta-Jones' lack of acting ability, but she's so drop-dead gorgeous that it doesn't really matter.
Definitely one to buy, treasure and make sure your friends see!
Credit the Coen Brothers, who made "Intolerable Cruelty," with having the good sense to know what they had in these two stars and for exploiting it to the full. They have allowed the actors to play off their good looks, most especially Ms. Zeta-Jones, portraying an icy gold-digger who specializes in marrying rich men with the express purpose of taking them for everything they've got once the marriage is ended. Clooney is the first-rate divorce lawyer who finally meets his match when he falls under the spell of this strangely bewitching woman.
The major joy in "Intolerable Cruelty" comes from watching these two tremendously attractive stars go at one another - be it in lust, passion or anger. Miles and Marylin are both seasoned game-players and world-class manipulators who know how to get the better of the hapless victims who stumble headlong into their paths. Unfortunately, the film itself never lives up to its promise of becoming a slashing satire on the mores of our divorce-happy society. The main reason for this is that the script often shoots too low in its tone, opting for an overly broad, slapstick approach when a slyer, subtler style is what's really called for.Read more ›
The Los Angeles setting and eclectic characters is reminiscent of Lebowski. However, Clooney's character, a prominent divorce attorney spews gab like Ulysses Everitt McGill, only with better credentials. Intolerable Cruelty, despite its title, is also much lighter than anything else by the Coens- except perhaps Hudsucker Proxy. Lighthearted even with much of the storyline devoted to social climbing wives and fidelity-impaired husbands.
The entire cast gives wonderful performances. Catherine Zeta-Jones has regained her title as sexiest woman in my world after her femme-fatale performance here. Clooney is perfect for his fast-talking part. Billy Bob, Geoffrey Rush, and Cedric the Entertainer all have memorable minor parts. Paul Adelstein is great as Clooney's understudy sidekick.
Intolerable Cruelty is not perhaps a troubling, deep cinematic masterpiece on the order of Miller's Crossing or Fargo. But it is a fantastic comedy with many instantly quotable lines ("You fascinate me") and subtely worth repeated viewings. With its big name cast this film is likely to once again return the Coen brothers to mainstream prominence. A most welcome prospect for such a strong film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorite movies. Clooney is a natural comic and CZJ is GREAT in this movie! Also, she's so gorgeous....you will laugh a lot watching this!Published 14 days ago by Gem
Really enjoyed the movie. It was funny and cute. Perfect date night movie.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of the all time funniest movies...also complex...dont miss a word.Published 3 months ago by Laurie
Classic comedy and the highest level of comedy I have seen for both George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones and one of Billy Bob Thornton's best, and of course he just stole it! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jacky
Expected more from George Clooney, I think they have killed the goose that lays the golden egg. Too much publicity for George. Expect too much now.
I didn't like it.
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