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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.3%
Worth A Look41.76%
Average: 30.77%
Pretty Bad: 21.98%
Total Crap: 2.2%

10 reviews, 31 user ratings

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Alfie (2004)
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by EricDSnider

"What a charming, charming bastard."
4 stars

The title character in "Alfie," played with rakish charm by Jude Law, brags about his sex life so constantly and so single-mindedly that you begin to suspect he has never actually had sex. He's an improbably shallow and arrogant creature, made all the more slap-worthy by how lovable he is.

Alfie, an Englishman in New York in the latest version of Bill Naughton's play (famously made into a 1966 Michael Caine film), takes pride in his sexual conquests, and even more in his ability to remain uncommitted to any of the women involved. He flees emotional involvement, his occupation as a limo driver nicely symbolizing his transient, carefree lifestyle.

I find him loathsome. This is not particularly because of his wantonness, but because of his smarmy attitude about it, which warrants all the misfortune the screenplay can concoct for him. Happily, I can report that Alfie does indeed suffer misfortunes and that these make him re-examine his life. But I don't feel sorry for him, and I think I'm supposed to. Oh well.

Things begin their descent for Alfie when he sleeps with the girlfriend (Nia Long) of his best friend (Omar Epps), which has the expected consequences, including pregnancy. (The girlfriend's, not Alfie's.) Then there is a mild health scare for Alfie that seems to be important but which only lasts for about five movie minutes, a thematic red herring that kills some time before Alfie's REAL introspection begins.

Director Charles Shyer (who adapted the play with sitcom veteran Elaine Pope) couldn't have wished for a better lead than Law. The man can act, first and foremost, a fact that redeems the film in its final 20 minutes and ultimately makes it worth recommending. It's ultimately a serious-minded character drama, topped with a little comedy and randiness.

In addition, though Law will have appeared in six 2004 releases by year's end, he has not yet made the public sick of him. His public persona is that of quiet charm, and so we are more willing to cut him some slack when he plays a character, like Alfie, who is hard to like. He is fast joining the ranks of actors who can do no wrong, actors like Tom Hanks and Steve Martin whose larger-than-life celebrityhood makes them beloved regardless of what they actually do. Law doesn't "do" anything amazing in "Alfie." He gives an honest, pitch-perfect performance in a film that is otherwise unremarkable.

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originally posted: 11/08/04 14:14:38
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User Comments

9/08/19 Karen_S it's just not in the same league as the 1960s original 2 stars
1/14/10 Samantha P jude law does a great job in a kind of alright movie. 3 stars
2/04/08 art an excellent remake sienna miller is a perfect 10 jude law fill's micheal caine's shoe's 4 stars
5/03/07 David Pollastrini Just OK 3 stars
12/25/06 Jackie Jude Law did an outstanding job only reason i give it 4 stars movie in general not so great 4 stars
5/22/06 Diane P really looking forward to this one but very disappointed in it 2 stars
3/11/06 Tanya it was okay could have been better 3 stars
10/14/05 eddiejohns Definitely a guide for men on how not to be. 3 stars
5/22/05 JFK average movie, but worth a look for the music 4 stars
5/16/05 Jim A semi-interesting portrait of a sort of cad 3 stars
5/13/05 Jennifer Regan Ending isn't very good 4 stars
3/25/05 Trish Rucker See the original instead! 3 stars
3/21/05 Kyle I thought it was really good. Felt sorry for him at the end. 4 stars
3/19/05 PAMELA HANSEN this sleeping dog should have been let lie ...leave well enough alone 3 stars
3/11/05 Sid Savillo/Novelist/Scriptwriter The Emptiness he has has to be filled in by women he ins and outs. 4 stars
2/23/05 Joseph Venanzi first Italian Job now Alfie. What's next remaking M. Cain's Last Valley? 2 stars
2/21/05 fiona I felt like they expected me to like the character, Alfie. I didn't. lame. 2 stars
2/11/05 Sharon Davis not as good as the old one 3 stars
2/09/05 Al Guy Not as "real" as the original. Ok. 3 stars
2/06/05 Cassandra Farrar great job by all 4 stars
2/04/05 sue ostergard This one seems pretty dumb to me. 2 stars
1/27/05 Roz The film wins some style points but doesn't come up to the original. 3 stars
12/30/04 Candace Troy Powers Yep! I can only pity anyone desperate enough to fuck Susan Sirhandon & Marisa Ptomaine! 2 stars
12/30/04 Valerie Jones Why should Alfie get blamed for never meeting anyone worth "committing" to? 2 stars
11/14/04 Joe Smaltz I must be becoming Movie junkie; I was in awe of the cinematography , photography, Editing 4 stars
11/12/04 Andrea great actor, lousy film...bring back Michael Caine 2 stars
11/11/04 nicole it was awesome jude law looker hot in it too ;) 5 stars
11/11/04 Naka Nope! 1 stars
11/10/04 impartial judgement lame and boring 1 stars
11/09/04 kris jude law was very stylish and sexy. And his downfall was displayed very well. 5 stars
11/06/04 Kris Jude was great. Looked great, too! 5 stars
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  05-Nov-2004 (R)
  DVD: 15-Mar-2005



Directed by
  Charles Shyer

Written by
  Charles Shyer
  Elaine Pope

  Jude Law
  Marisa Tomei
  Omar Epps
  Susan Sarandon
  Nia Long
  Jane Krakowski

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