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Laws of Attraction Review

By Shawn McKenzie 05/05/2004

Lately the chick flicks we have gotten featured people in their teens and ‘20s.  We haven’t gotten one from an older couple in a while, but the problem with the couple in Laws of Attraction is that they don’t act their age.


Audrey Woods (Julianne Moore) is a single, successful New York City divorce attorney.  Her job has spurned her desire to start a relationship.  She has never lost a case, yet she is still a battle of nerves, with only Hostess Snowballs and the Weather Channel to calm her down.  Her latest case could rack in millions, but the opponent has recently changed council and is going with an attorney she has never heard of, Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan), a charismatic but unconventional man who’s also never lost a case.  Audrey has never heard of him because he has just recently returned from a stint in California, but Audrey’s mother, Sara Miller (Frances Fisher), thinks that Daniel is very handsome, and that Audrey should try to go after him socially.  Audrey doesn’t like him because she thinks that he is manipulative in his legal methods.  She loses that first case against him, which results in a showdown with both lawyers winning an equal amount of cases.  After one night of seduction though, they end up sleeping together, which Audrey regrets.  Sara invites Audrey to a rock concert where the lead singer, Thorne Jamison (Michael Sheen), is getting divorced.  She gets sick of the music and steps outside where she meets Thorne’s wife, fashion designer Serena (Parker Posey.)  She courts Serena’s business, but days later, she finds out that Serena is going with Daniel because he is willing to play dirty.  She in turn goes after Thorne’s business, and the two end up on opposite sides of another in the divorce case in front of Judge Abramovitz (Nora Dunn.)  They both find a way to resolve the case by negotiating over an Irish castle that the couple owns, but unfortunately, both parties want it.  In order to settle the dispute over the castle, the attorneys travel to Ireland to investigate their claims and see who truly deserves it.  Once they finally get there, they both get liquored up at the castle’s Irish Festival and wake up the next morning to discover that they were married the night before.  When they get back to America, they have to remain married and live together (I’m not exactly sure why) until they settle the case, all while slowly falling in love with one another.


No, I’m no newbie.  I realize that actors and actresses have been acting younger than their age for decades.  The thing that is frustrating for me is that both of the leads are attractive even in their current ages, and it wouldn’t have been unbelievable if they had acted their ages.  Moore is 43, yet her character claims to be 35.  Brosnan doesn’t state his age, but he acts like he is ten years younger than his 50 years on this Earth.


Why am I being so nitpicky about this little detail?  It’s because the movie is such a by-the-books chick flick that I had to find something to complain about.  What starts out as a revival of the great Katharine Hepburn/Spenser Tracy chick flicks of the ‘40s (Adam’s Rib, Woman of the Year) turns into a bland series of clichés.  It has the “airport scene” near the end, and the “chick flick rocker” (a rock star with a thick, goofy British accent and dark eyeliner around each eye.  Honestly, when was the last time there was a rock star who looked like that?)


I also want to point out what makes this film different from last year’s divorce attorney comedy, Intolerable Cruelty.  That movie starts out as a chick flick and turns into a dark comedy that remains hilarious from beginning to end.  This one starts out funny and then drops the funny in the second half.

Like I said, the beginning of Laws of Attraction is fairly amusing, but everything that happens after they accidentally get married is bland.  I guess you could say that it is a good date flick, but I would check out Mean Girls if you want funny with no romance or The Prince & Me if you want a fairytale chick flick.  Personally, I’d rather check out one of the Hepburn/Tracy flicks again, or a classic with people acting their age…When Harry Met Sally.


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