Saturday, August 28, 2004

The movie Laws of Attraction is the latest flick we got to watch in a string of semi-new movies being shown these days. The story's nothing new and nothing any of us haven't heard of, successful Manhattan divorce lawyer Audrey Woods (Julianne Moore) is a single, attractive woman who can't seem to score in the field of romantic love. She goes around with her divorced socialite mother, Sara Miller (Frances Fisher) doing lunches and going over her rich clients' properties in a bid to see what could be worked out in the cases she's handling. Audrey's mother constantly nags her for being too into her work and leaving not much time for anything else. Audrey had long resolved not to fall in love and get married because from what she sees most marriages end in ugly divorce anyway. One day her orderly world was disturbed by the presence of an upstart and relatively new divorce lawyer named Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan) who was handling her client's wife's case. Rafferty had some pretty unorthodox ways of presenting himself and his arguments in court but if there's something to be said about him is that he never fails to deliver the goods. After a couple of run-ins they made peace with each other, got drunk and ended in bed together. Everything would have ended fine right after that, as Audrey have begun to fall for his charms, if not for a major boo-boo Rafferty did in court that humiliated her again the next day. That started a war of sorts as they verbally slugged with each other in court and in television interviews. Audrey's mom started to notice some change in her daughter's focus and when she found out why she changed her tune from nagging her to find an eligible bachelor to snagging Rafferty. Things come to a head when Audrey finds out an ugly fight brewing between celebrity couple, Serena (Parker Posey) and Thorne Jamison (Michael Sheen). She is a well known young fashion designer and he is the lead singer of a famous rock band and they're both needing the best divorce lawyers to handle their case. Who better to handle their case than these two lawyers? There were occasional stumbles as they raced against each other in building a full proof case but non a big as the mess they got themselves into when they went to Ireland to look over an ancient castle that became the main object of dispute. After going out to attend the townfestival and getting themselves drinking silly they woke up the next day in bed with wedding rings on their fingers. Though Audrey was shocked, to say the least, Rafferty thought it would be best to go along with the idea of them getting married and spare the press of any news of an impending divorce (which is all very ironic). Audrey tries her best not to explode and Rafferty kept mostly to himself to avoid further conflicts during their time together as husband and wife and things would have begun to settle down if not for one last major booboo in court that made Audrey flare up making the usually resilient Rafferty to call the whole thing off. And just when things couldn't sink any lower they get their lessons in love and commitment from the most unlikely time, persons, and place of all.

We're all suckers for romantic comedies that show two protagonists clawing at each other and doing some fine verbal joustings of their own. From Catarina and Petruchio from William Shakespeare'sTaming of the Shrew to Maddie Hayes and David Addison in the 80s classic TV series, Moonlighting. We all love to hear sarcasm and biting wit between the two sexes before different types of sparks fly. We like it better if there's an existing chemistry between them two characters and that's somewhat of a problem with our two protagonists during the first have of the movie. No matter how much bickering they did it just doesn't seem to work. The only character that stands above the rest is Frances Fisher's divorced character who's undergoing a second cycle of teenagerhood (she attends a rock concert, organizes a sort of pajama party where she and her friends would inject their lips with fat taken from their fannies, and refuses to be called "Mother" in public). She very well steals all the scenes she appears in no matter who comes out with her. But it's not all that bad. The movie does have its plusses but not too many sparks fly when you need it to.

* Check out also the review in Hollywood Jesus for more insightful reactions to this great movie.

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