Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

Another Coen bros. spectacular takes the viewer on a tour of extreme selfishness and oddball characters. I saw this in the theatre on its release with high hopes of another The Big Lebowski or O Brother, Where Art Thou. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with my first viewing at the flaky characters. This could have been in part to some of the added writing partners the Coens employed. But after having seen it a few more times, I can honestly say that I quite enjoy this film.

The most gratifying part is certainly watching George Clooney's divorce lawyer antics. He is given a different obsession in this film (it was his hair in O Brother if you recall). Now it is his teeth which he constantly whitens, polishes and freshens. His comic charm easily wins over viewers easier than it does the cold-hearted Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The film focuses on the loneliness of gold-digging wives and leeching lawyers and ultimately pairs a couple of them (take a stab at which two). The film's goofiness can hinder the deeper messages of vulnerability and exposing your need for companionship. How can you take characters like Wheezy Joe, Rex Rexroth, and Heinz, the Baron Krauss von Espy seriously?

I don't think we are supposed to take them too seriously. The filmmakers are smarter than that. Their ultimate goal is to expose the ridiculousness of the divorce epidemic. At one marriage ceremony, the presiding minister asks the groom "what's the matter, haven't you been married before?"

Official Site | IMDB

1 comment:

Amber said...

I too enjoyed it better the second time. Same with The Royal Tenebaums, which is one of my favorites! I wonder why some films disappoint the first time, expectations I guess.
I also appreciated the themes of vulnerablity and finding true love, but still it was mainly just a fun and light-hearted film with characters I couldn't relate to.
8 stars for me.