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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4%
Worth A Look: 14%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 36%
Total Crap46%

6 reviews, 14 user ratings

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Le Divorce
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Greg Muskewitz

"Keeping the living room clutter-free just to show there's open space."
2 stars

A more contemporary effort from Merchant-Ivory, in times at least closer to A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries, but dramatically quite distant.

The movie is an Allen-esque assemblage of top talent, if all of the actors are not household names, they still manage to bring the same level of skill. The core of Le Divorce has Kate Hudson coming to visit her married sister, Naomi Watts, in Paris, and all plans are sidestepped when her husband leaves for another woman and the drama of a divorce creates a particular panic over a possible authentic La Tour painting that originates with the American family, but that the French side wants dibs on through the settlement. There is added baggage of pressure from family and friends on what to do, who’s doing whom, and who should being doing what, or again, whom. Through James Ivory’s adaptation of Diane Johnson’s novel (adapted with oft-collaborator Ruth Prawer Jhabvala), what could easily have been the movie’s comedic centerpiece and highlight is left as an indiscretion for far too long, billowing in the horizon, but tip-toed around until it absolutely must be dealt with. And when the time comes, mostly near the end, it’s used as a ploy to temporarily heighten some suspense for a predictable and unsatisfying turnout. Much of the story follows in the same footsteps of the painting subplot — there is such an availability for space in which to work, whether it be dramatic or comedic, that Ivory leaves the living room floor open and free of clutter simply to display the openness without ever actually filling it. For one thing, the movie has a horrible idea in the passage of time. A haircut or a reference to a considerable piece of news (after the fact, of course) are the only alerts that time has gone by, opting to tell instead of show. Le Divorce is restrained to an unsteady pulse, relegated to the unpredictable whim of its characters, which all tend to lead up to nowhere; the story blows freely through the Paris air as does Hudson’s character. The movie’s cast is pretty spectacular, but put to waste; they all perform as best as they can, but there is no determining factor in whose roles make sense and build up, and those whose don’t at all (Matthew Modine). Again, there is a lot of potential for comedy over the familial conflicts, the American vs. the French, but Ivory and company barely touch upon it. Unfortunately, good actors must have good writing and a good scenario for their work to flourish. The peak of Le Divorce, so to say, is the tag-along tour we get of the Eiffel Tour, beautifully photographed and explored with the camera, bringing us and its characters to the pinnacle of excitement throughout.

[See it if you must.]

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originally posted: 12/28/03 23:14:35
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User Comments

4/03/12 Goldie Hawn I think Kate Hudson is stunning, but 15 secs of her is more than enough for me. 2 stars
1/25/09 Nathan Anyone who finds this movie anything but shitty is too dumb to ever talk to 1 stars
5/04/06 Alainb i love this film kate hudson is verry great on this film... 5 stars
5/06/05 Colleen Goldrick If your divorced you'll chuckle 4 stars
9/19/04 CharWar This is an awful movie - what were these 2 great actresses thinking?! 1 stars
7/25/04 S.F Le crap ! 1 stars
7/24/04 Monster W. Kung Cra; what kind of movie is this anyway, comedy, drama, romance? What the hell? 2 stars
4/30/04 mornaiguy There's absolutely no tension in this movie, nothing to keep your attention. 1 stars
4/17/04 Aldo quite possible, the worst flick ive ever seen :( 1 stars
3/03/04 mary not at all what i expected it to be like!!!! was long and boring with no proper storyline 2 stars
2/26/04 john wallace what a waste of talented actors. Superficial characters but beatufully photographed. 2 stars
12/30/03 Chris The cast sounded great, alas the film is not. 2 stars
11/29/03 Helen Bradley great film acting and script 5 stars
9/14/03 Stephanie Great Scenery Wasted Actors and Plot 2 stars
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  08-Aug-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 27-Jan-2004



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