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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

Intolerable Cruelty  

Review: written 2003

Brilliant and anarchic.. yet heartwarming

The Coen brothers manage once again to produce an inspired comedy with their surreal and offbeat sensibilities intact. George Clooney is a divorce lawyer who cleans out Catherine Zeta-Jones... she seeks revenge in her own inimitable style, while the audience asks, who is falling for who..?

In any one else’s hands this could have been the formula for another tired romantic comedy, but the Coens inhabit this premise with wonderful offbeat characters, one of a kind performances and moments which are laugh out funny just because they are surreal.

George Clooney was moving well into stardom when this movie was made, and his collaboration with the Coen Brothers helped this along. Here his performance has some echoes from his previous Coen brothers film, 'O Brother, where art thou'.. except this time it is his teeth and not his Dapper-Dan hair which have taken over as his fixation.

Zeta Jones on the other hand manages to avoid another lacklustre performance and actually sparkles in what turns out to be perfect casting.

One of the genius touches of the movie and the script, is that it takes in several different types of humour.. situation comedy, slapstick comedy (the scene when Clooney is breaking into his own home and confronting a 'burglar' is hilarious) and wordplay comedy which the Zucker brothers would have bene proud of. And nobody can match them, and Clooney in particular, for their sense of comedy timing.

This deserved a wider audience than it got on its theatrical release.





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