New Line Cinema release
of a New
Line Cinema and Mobius Pictures presentation in association with
Film Co., Intermedia, MHF Zweite Academy Film and Initial Entertainment
Group of a Deep River/Irish Dreamtime production. Produced by David T.
Friendly, Marc Turtletaub, Beau St. Clair, Julie Durk, David Bergstein.
Executive producers, Pierce Brosnan, Basil Iwanyk, Bob Yari, Mark
Mark Gill, Arthur Lappin, Elie Samaha, Toby Emmerich, Guy Stodel,
Hengst. Co-producer, Paul Myler. Co-executive producer, Andrew Lowe.
by Peter Howitt.
Aline Brosh McKenna, Robert Harling; story, McKenna. Camera (Deluxe
color, widescreen), Adrian Biddle; editor, Tony Lawson; music, Edward
production designer, Charles J. H. Wood; art director, Susie Cullen;
decorator, Michael Seirton; costume designer, Joan Bergin; sound (Dolby
Digital/SDDS/DTS), Kieran Horgan; associate producers, Angelique
Amanda J. Scarano, Wolfgang Schamburg, Ernst-August Schneider;
director, Konrad Jay; casting, John Hubbard, Ros Hubbard; New York
Amanda Mackey Johnson, Cathy Sandrich Gelfond. Reviewed at Beverly
Los Angeles, March 20, 2004. (In Newport Beach, Houston, San Francisco
film festivals.) MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 89 MIN.
Audrey Woods .....
Thorne Jamison .....
Serena ..... Parker
Sara Miller .....
Judge Abramovitz .....
Eve! Adam wants
back. "Laws of Attraction" plays by the rules sheet so gainfully
in the battle-of-the-sexes comedy classics of Hollywood's golden age.
the sparring duo --- that once might have been played by Spencer Tracy
and Katharine Hepburn --- is essayed by Pierce Brosnan and Julianne
in enjoyably change-of-pace roles. While slight comic concoction is so
airy it seems in danger of floating right off the screen, the pleasant
retro vibe and a handful of effervescent moments carry this film no
heterosexual male would dare see except on a date. Opening April 30
some fest dates, decent chick-flick coin should precede many court
as a vid and tube staple.
Woods (Moore), a
Manhattan divorce attorney with a penchant for candy corn, believes
proceedings don't have to turn into nasty, name-calling free-for-alls.
Daniel Rafferty (Brosnan), an even higher-profile lawyer with an
track record, has a reputation for flying by the seat of his
roguishly charming pants.
meet cute when they
representing opposing spouses in a divorce case. He invites her to
she, thinking she can work the situation to her advantage, accepts.
in a moment of weakness, she ends up spending the night with him; the
morning, he shows up in court with case notes written on her missing
continue to square
off on a series of headline-grabbing cases, until they find themselves
representing their highest profile clients to date: spaced-out rock
Thorne Jamison (Michael Sheen) and his tempestuous fashion-designer
Serena (Parker Posey). After initially courting Woods to be her
Serena jumps ship and decides to go with Rafferty.
moves in and lands
her client. Thorne and Serena pretty much agree on who's entitled to
except, that is, for the sprawling Irish castle they call their home
from home. So, naturally, it's off to Dublin for our intrepid heroes,
they each plan to depose the Jamisons' servants in an effort to
who deserves to keep the estate.
of Attraction" is a
change-of-pace for Hollywood product; it runs under 80 minutes not
the lengthy main and end title sequences. Scripted by Aline Brosh
and Robert Harling, "Laws of Attraction" desperately wants to
the sustained screwball rhythms of a Lubitsch, Hawks or Wilder farce
only very occasionally comes even close. But the charming chemistry of
the leads and the lightness of tone achieved by director Peter Howitt
Doors," "Johnny English") keeps the whole enterprise afloat.
from his usual
spygame skullduggery, the de-Bonded Brosnan appears wonderfully at
while Moore, relieved of the melodramatic burden of her best-known
positively sparkles. They're helped by Frances Fisher as Woods'
botox-injecting, former-beauty-queen mother. In a brilliant perf,
amps up the entire movie's energy level whenever she's on screen. Asked
at one point if she's really 56 years old, she replies, in a Mae
retort, "Parts of me are."
in the tech department, with Adrian Biddle's widescreen lensing lending
the Manhattan scenes a particularly glossy glow, while composer Edward
Shearmur contributes a bouncy, brassy Gershwinesque score that sounds
an ode to skyscrapers and taxicabs.
Pic's grand total of 17
of various types, rivaled only by the "Agent Cody Banks" franchise,
that such credits may have been dispensed on the set with all the
of crew jackets.