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Overall Rating

Awesome: 26.35%
Worth A Look32.93%
Average: 17.96%
Pretty Bad: 8.38%
Total Crap: 14.37%

12 reviews, 95 user ratings

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Closer (2004)
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by Laura Kyle

"Maybe it's substance... maybe it's Maybelline."
4 stars

QUIZ!!! Two women. Two men. How many different couple combinations does that yield? Well, assuming every person is straight (and that I can count), you end up with four couplings. Itís Natalie Portman (as Alice)/Jude Law (as Dan), Natalie Portman/Clive Owen (as Larry), Julia Roberts (as Anna)/Jude Law, and Julia Roberts/Clive Owen. Itís not as confusing as it sounds really. Just four fucked up people talking about fucking Ė thereís your plot right there.

Even with this soap opera/love ďrectangleĒ (I was never good at geometry), the unbelievable actions of the unlikable characters, and the fact that Closer is one long jean commercial, Mike Nicholsí latest is a pretty worthwhile flick. Because the fact that you donít care too much for the characters Ė is part of its appeal.

Dan, an obituary writer, first meets Alice, a fuchsia-haired stripper, when she is knocked unconscious by way of walking into a moving vehicle (charming!). The strangers catch each otherís gaze while on the crowded streets of London (seen that one before!) a few seconds short of the accident (or 15 seconds, with Nicholsí slowmo effect and all), and afterward Dan whisks Alice off to the hospital. Itís love at first sight. And who can blame them really? Theyíre both beautiful people.

Fast forward a year or so (I was never good at timetables) and Danís written a book about Alice, his now brunette, live-in girlfriend, and is shopping it around. Professional photographer Anna takes his picture (for a book jacket I suppose), but as you probably know, when Dan sees a beautiful face, well, he just canít help himself. But when he fails to sweep newly separated Anna off her feet, his only option is to play a practical joke on herÖ of course! So, he seduces an unsuspecting male (Larry) over the Internet, setting him up with an unsuspecting Anna, which we all know kind of backfires on him (see paragraph one). So the question is never who will hook up with who, but when and how everyone will hook up.

And itís pretty amusing being the 5th wheel on this long, messy date.

Mostly thanks to playwright/screenwriter Patrick Marber. The dialogue is as different as it is interesting (itís even funny a good deal of the time). Marber uses sex to say a whole lot about the human condition Ėnot by writing scene after scene of physical contact Ė itís all about the verbiage. And in the case of Closer, the pen is much mightier than skin.

And Nichols was a good pick to direct the film version of Marberís play Ė he looks at passion from a dispassionate point of view almost, heís not trying to get you to root for anyone in particular.

Marberís subjects are compulsive searchers of love and lust and Iím not sure if they can always tell the difference between the two, or if they every really find what theyíre looking for. They canít seem to figure out that the big payoff theyíre on the hunt for may require a little more self-control and sacrifice.

The problem with Closer is that Nicholsí style and striking leads drown out the message, the story a little. But with a talented cast like this (the best performance given by Portman, who has to pull off a character with severe nuances) and such an original, compelling script, youíve got a solid movie, as long as a viewer doesnít get too fed up with Closerís dead-end characters.

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originally posted: 04/02/05 06:01:24
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User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell mean spirited but HONEST 4 stars
12/09/12 Simon raw, crackling acting. not so smoothly made, but replaces the singular intesity of a play 5 stars
6/26/11 brian Does love turn to hate because of lies...or because of honesty? 5 stars
5/29/11 Shaun A It's a good film, but the heart's not in it. Maybe just not my kind. 3 stars
5/22/10 Dane Youssef One of the finest photographed plays in years. All fucking scorch like Gods. 5 stars
2/07/10 art natalie portman has an exotic dancer YAWN! 1 stars
7/18/09 Lesli Lovd NP..lovd when CO railed @ JR. If uve been cheated on, you'll relate well. 5 stars
12/22/08 CTT Shallow and hypocritical, thank God for Portman's ass 2 stars
4/26/07 mb How Four Pigs With A Bit Of Charm Live 2 stars
3/31/07 David Pollastrini Natalie Portman is hot in this! 2 stars
2/28/07 Keystra Williams Portman and Owen rule. Roberts and Law SUCK. 4 stars
2/19/07 Nick Maday I know Cate Blanchett was good, but I was rooting for Natalie Portman. Loved this movie. 4 stars
2/14/07 Bitchflaps Really quite shit, Law and Portman are vacuous, Roberts asinine, Owen irritating as fuck. 1 stars
10/21/06 Trevor Cathartic 5 stars
10/10/06 Bruce The film had an intrigue to it that makes you want to look deeper 4 stars
7/16/06 Marty character interaction was amazing. owen rocked, roberts was the weakest 4 stars
5/10/06 omar pretty good. i just like the song 4 stars
3/11/06 Tanya enjoyable 4 stars
12/16/05 Christina Silva Closer is the greatest most honest movie i have ever seen. It is so accurate. 5 stars
12/12/05 millersxing What posturing! Oversexed, understated, uber-chic, nauseating "relationship" drama. 3 stars
11/28/05 Cedric Oh, that lucky thong that gets to floss Natalie's dooky ditch! 4 stars
10/22/05 rebecca Vacuous piece of nonsense 1 stars
10/20/05 Uche I think it is a good movioe but I really don't understand the end. 5 stars
9/13/05 ray mero For me, this is a perfect date movie...after which a nicely amused and hooting fuck. 4 stars
8/11/05 ES How to commit adultry badly, I found sympathy for none of them, waste of money 1 stars
8/01/05 TheOthersFan Alice/Jane puts it most succinctly: "A bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully." 3 stars
6/22/05 The Lurchprong Splitter Good acting from Portman, Law, and Owen, but arrogant Julia R just shitting on her laurels! 3 stars
6/14/05 Blanche Pope pretentious rubbish! 1 stars
6/03/05 Indrid Cold A fascinating look at love, lust, betrayal and lies in 21st century relationships. 5 stars
6/02/05 malcolm i had a portman 2xfeature with "Phantom Menace." should've got "The Professional" instead. 4 stars
5/02/05 dfa hello stranger! 3 stars
4/26/05 E-FUNK Clive Owen verbally berrates Julia Roberts. Worth every second of your time. 4 stars
4/19/05 Nicole Baugh Natalie Portman broke my heart in this movie. 4 stars
4/19/05 Elizaveta people do messed up shit to each other in the name of love. 4 stars
4/18/05 Calandria Dexter I thought this movie was fantastic! Wonderful twists! Love can be hard! 5 stars
4/16/05 Carol Conway It was okay 3 stars
4/11/05 Monday Morning Mike Nichols lost a lot of cred with this one. A huge disappointment except for JL and NP. 2 stars
4/11/05 Phil M. Aficionado Nicely made film about the kind of relationships that don't happen 'cuz they make no sense. 3 stars
4/07/05 Roderick Cromar Where I live, people simply don't behave like this. 2 stars
4/06/05 clatz Clive Owen should only play Pinocchio he is that wooden!! Portman is the only thing worhtw 1 stars
4/06/05 Ethan Clive Owen was amazing, good film 4 stars
4/03/05 Eric hardcore satire with characters who have no filter on what they think out loud 4 stars
3/14/05 Daveman A sober, resounding testament to the irrevokable consequences of infidelity... remarkable. 4 stars
3/12/05 Jim Totally engagaing end to end. Clive Owen - wow! 5 stars
2/21/05 fiona HOW BORING! It's Dawsons Creek for 30 somethings. Yaaaawn. 1 stars
2/20/05 abhster Clive Owen makes this movie. What a terrific role, although it's a lead, not supporting 5 stars
2/15/05 Why are fish therapeutic? Fish are not as therapeutic as Natalie Portman's crapper-flappers! 3 stars
2/14/05 H.P. Lovecraft Clive owen rules. Natalie portman too. 5 stars
2/05/05 xxplosive Natalie Portman makes this film worth seeing, she is outstanding throughout. 4 stars
2/05/05 John Bale Theatrical thesis on rampant infidelity, fine direction & acting. Natalie is riveting. 5 stars
2/02/05 lisa w definitely adult themed movie, which had a much different approach to relationships 4 stars
2/02/05 Weeez This film makes you address the darker side of relationships, and consequences. 4 stars
2/01/05 kaz cold as intimacy at all.. 1 stars
2/01/05 Alison Mosbeck I felt that this film was very well-made, but I was not crazy about the themes it presented 4 stars
1/30/05 Gretchen Lowe Natalie Portman is hot 5 stars
1/29/05 Wendy strange 4 stars
1/29/05 Lisa Clarizio Up there with Lost in Translation as one of the best movies where nothing happens 5 stars
1/29/05 petrushka Beautiful and cruel, fascinating. Portman & Owen shine in this adult look at relationships. 5 stars
1/27/05 Bert Rito Vote #1 Clive Owen for Bond! He was brilliant, as was Portman. Roberts looks like a horse. 4 stars
1/27/05 Roz I loved this movie. A fascinating adult look at truth, lies, fantasy and deception. 5 stars
1/25/05 michael shulman excellent script and excellent acting 4 stars
1/24/05 JDAWG This movie was horrible. "I love u, no, now I love u, but I'm gonna sleep with someone" 1 stars
1/17/05 Victor Amazin 5 stars
1/13/05 Pamela thought provoking 5 stars
1/09/05 aeon i liked it. It made me feel lessl ike a freak because i ask questions like that too.... 5 stars
1/03/05 The Mockingbird That's some honesty right there. I love Portman more than ever, and my my my Clive Owen 5 stars
1/03/05 Movie Lover waste of time. waste of Money. 1 stars
12/31/04 I.S> Worst piece of crap I've seen in years! 1 stars
12/28/04 Lynn disturbing. ruthless. absolutely loved it. 4 stars
12/27/04 Steve Nothing in this movie made me care about what happens. 2 stars
12/24/04 Gilly Concarne execrable 1 stars
12/22/04 carleton fine film , interesting everything 5 stars
12/21/04 Randy 2 excrutiating hours of witnessing 4 miserable, self-absorbed, uninteresting people 1 stars
12/19/04 Kyle Wonderful movie. 5 stars
12/19/04 jcjs wow, humdinger, tough stuff 5 stars
12/15/04 ZF an effective semi-wrenching film about people manipulating each other emotionally 4 stars
12/15/04 Elizabeth Interesting. The dialogue is too "written", though the CONTENT is believable. 3 stars
12/14/04 dbx If you're going to be pretentious, at least be good at it. 1 stars
12/13/04 Lucas Stensland Worse movie I've seen this year 1 stars
12/13/04 Nicole Depressing - shows just how shitty people can treat each other 4 stars
12/12/04 Eric a bit of a downer, but great character development & shows that love/hate is very complex 4 stars
12/11/04 estherben good 4 stars
12/11/04 Dianne I appreciated it, but would be hard-pressed to say I liked it. 4 stars
12/11/04 Maureen I walked out. I was not prepared for the vulgarness. I am not a prude but after 1 hr. of it 1 stars
12/11/04 Suzz so-so acting; terrible screenplay;a 'message' only a 20/30 something could find revelatory 2 stars
12/10/04 I I 1 stars
12/08/04 Dirt Whore beautiful...I want to eat Natalie's ass 5 stars
12/06/04 Gary Not bad......Portman is hotter then ever! Good acting; poor script! 3 stars
12/06/04 Jimmy Kustes For a mainstream movie it had a very indie feel 4 stars
12/05/04 Donna I 4 stars
12/05/04 Kristina Williams I want Natalie to give me a pole lesson...PRONTO. 5 stars
12/04/04 Monica I couldn't appreciate this film. It was too filthy I had to remove myself from the theater 2 stars
12/02/04 Ratana Predicable, simular to other movies. 3 stars
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  03-Dec-2004 (R)
  DVD: 29-Mar-2005



Directed by
  Mike Nichols

Written by
  Patrick Marber

  Natalie Portman
  Julia Roberts
  Jude Law
  Clive Owen

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