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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 3.85%
Average: 7.69%
Pretty Bad76.92%
Total Crap: 11.54%

3 reviews, 8 user ratings

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Laws of Attraction
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by Chris Parry

"It's Intolerable Cruelty for the grandmother crowd. Literally!"
2 stars

Imagine if you will a romantic comedy about two divorce lawyers who seem to be cut from the same cloth as Cary Grant and Doris Day, only they're both so self-obsessed and vapid that they can't even admit to one another that they like each other after they sleep together. Or, for that matter, after they get married. Accidentally. Kinda. Oh, hell with it; Laws of Attractions sucks. You really don't need to know much else about it.

Julianne Moore is a divorce lawyer who has never lost a case. Pierce Brosnan is a divorce lawyer, recently back in town, who has never lost a case. Oooh, goody, they're going to get entangled in a case that will give us Mamet-like courtroom showdowns leading up to one of them finally losing, right?

Uh, no.

Okay, maybe we'll get some some truly vicious back and forth where the two do horrifically nasty things to each other as they slowly begin to realize how much they dig each other, right?

Well, not as such.

Perhaps the two begin the kind of romance that will leave those in the audience teary-eyed and wishing they were on screen.... right?


What we actually get here in Laws of Attraction is standard straight to video fare, as two people over the age of forty fill time on the screen by being rich and vacuous, dealing with rich and vacuous others, proving only that they're the kind of non-humans who could travel the world together, shag, marry and still be unable to drop their second grade pigtail-pulling bullshit.

Pierce Brosnan has traveled this ground before, and it's never been ground worth following him on. With the exception of The Thomas Crown Affair remake (which left this crap for dead in the Lifestyles of the Rich and Gorgeous stakes) and a couple of very forgettable Bond films, the best thing Brosnan has been involved in since Remington Steeler was an Irish film called The Nephew, which went straight to video store shelves and never looked back.

See, Brosnan likes to make small films set in Ireland (he manages to take this one there a time or two, for no good reason other than it's green and has a castle), where he gets to use people from Waking Ned Divine, have a scene or two in a pub with gap-toothed old Irishmen who break into a jig whenever possible, and load the whole thing up with so much sugar that you'd be hard pressed to really care about whatever hardship is on screen, because the background music is already picking up volume to tell you that the solution is on the way.

In short, if it features Pierce Brosnan and has the Irish Dreamtime Productions logo at the beginning, it's weak stuff that only got made because Brosnan hit it big with the Thomas Crown Affair in 1999. The Nephew set the standard, and Brosnan has hit the same formula every time since.

Give the guy credit for bringing film dollars back to the homeland, but no credit at all for making movies that have all the vanilla essence of the Doris Day era without anywhere near the fun.

Oh sure, the blue rinse set will dig it well enough. The people who loved Something's Gotta Give will cackle afterwards about how good Laws of Attraction was, but let's be honest here, those people think The View is great TV, and they tend to fly to New York to be in Regis' TV audience, so their judgment isn't exactly credible enough for thinking men and women to base their ticket-buying decisions on.

Laws of Attraction is weak from the outset, despite the appearance of the usually hilarious Parker Posey. Playing a fashion designer who wants to divorce her English rock star husband, Posey is misused and wasted, while Michael Sheen, as her philandering husband, is about as funny as toe fungus.

Seriously, can we please put an end to the English rock star cliche, that says that any guy who sings in a band has to have three tons of metal in his face and a penchant for saying things like "Oy Guv'nor, it's a fair cop!" I mean, what is this, 1968? Is this guy trying out for The Monkees?

Director Peter Howitt is hardly the stuff of legend, having cut his teeth on Sliding Doors and since slumped into AntiTrust, Johnny English and this old crap, but the bulk of his resume consists of bit part acting roles, and I'm prepared to say that's where his future lies. Maybe it's not entirely his fault that Laws of Attraction is entirely ineffectual, uninteresting, unfunny and largely a non-event, but he sure as hell hasn't done much to turn it around.

Laws of Attraction has all the street cred of Glamor Magazine, and all the edge of Larry King. Which, incidentally, would be two entities that the target audience would undoubtedly love. In fact, one might say it's a movie made for watching from an automatic reclining chair with easy hand controls and lumbar support. With a mug of hot cocoa. And a fresh colostomy bag. Pfft.

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originally posted: 04/21/04 18:06:11
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 San Francisco Film Festival. For more in the 2004 San Francisco Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Minneapolis/St.Paul Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Minneapolis/St.Paul Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/17/09 CTT Unwatchable mess, almost half a dozen writers credited! 1 stars
2/03/06 Anthony Feor Peirce as a coky ol' bastard is not how i like him 3 stars
2/18/05 Tracie Smegelski I laughed once (when their car slipped away behind them). Otherwise a waste of 75 minutes. 1 stars
9/04/04 SF good actors. thats about it ! 3 stars
6/14/04 stefon de dog this movie was so frigon slowww!!!! and thare was no chemistry 1 stars
6/07/04 John except for a moment or two in Ireland it is neither romantic nor funny 2 stars
6/04/04 Daveman At least it's better than Along Came Polly. 2 stars
4/21/04 Cameron Slick A light, entertaining law romp that is greatly funny until it peddles into romantic formula 4 stars
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  30-Apr-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 24-Aug-2004



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