"Laws of Attraction"
Directed by Peter Howitt ("Antitrust").
Written by Aline Brosh McKenna and Robert Harling.
Starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore.
Release Year: 2004
Review Date: 4/30/04
Thanks to my friend Tricia, I have had the
good fortune of being able to see a few freebies of late.
Although I had not seen a trailer for the new romantic comedy "Laws
of Attraction", I did see many posters for the film in various
moviehouses and thought that a Pierce Brosnan flick could do me no
What "Laws of Attraction" told me, as well
as my friend Jeannine, was that "Love
Actually" really is an incredible film, because for me to love a
romantic comedy is just that rare. This time around, we get
New York's top divorce lawyer, Audrey Miller (Julianne Moore), a
beautiful, successful counsel that seems to have trouble with the
whole dating thing...until she meets her professional match in
Daniel Rafferty (Brosnan), a clumsy, disheveled lawyer recently
relocated from the West Coast that is every bit the divorce lawyer
that Miller is. When the two meet outside the courtroom,
romantic hijinks ensue...and then, when the twosome work on opposite
sides of a rock couple (Michael Sheen and Parker Posey), things
REALLY get weird.
Without having seen any previews, I was
unaware of a twist mid-film that I thought worked quite well.
And, up to that point, "Laws of Attraction" is a perfectly harmless,
by-the-book comedy. The chemistry between Brosnan and Moore is
well done, the flirting/initial dating portion of the film is funny,
charming and even, well, cute at times; the film is beautifully
photographed throughout, from a smooth set of opening credits
through montages of courtroom sequences that are brushed over in the
interest of time.
But, after this mid-film plot twist, I was
intrigued to see where the film's writers would take us...and, as it
turned out, they took us absolutely nowhere. I had a hard time
buying the Moore character incessantly in the final half-hour; I
can't say I blame Moore's performance on this, even though at times
it does feel like she is acting, and that is not a good thing.
Standard issue boy-loses-girl plotting is accompanied by hilarious
stock footage of characters suffering during thunderstorms, or while
blankly watching TV, or while taking long walks...don't writers ever
think this shit is hackneyed to death by now? Even scenes like
when a small doll's leg is broken off were meant to be dramatic, but
all I could do--much to the chagrin of those sitting near me--was
cackle my ass off.
And, in what is quickly becoming The Year of
the Shitty Ending, "Laws of Attraction" dies, completely drops dead
in its last five minutes. The good run in the first 45 minutes
is enough to justify the rating, since I had a great time during the
courtship phase...too bad the flick just couldn't hold up.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard