Intolerable Cruelty

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Movie Review by Susan Hodgetts

Starring: George Clooney, Catherine Zeta Jones, Geoffrey Rush, Cedric the Entertainer
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

More bizarre but hilarious humour from the Coen brothers, this time bringing us their unique take on the typical Hollywood love story, turning it on its head and, in the words of one of the characters, nailing it to its arse!

Clooney is Miles Massey, a divorce lawyer with a fearsome reputation and a 100% strike rate. He’s so good at his job, in fact, that he’s bored and it no longer challenges him, until he meets his match, Marilyn Rexroth, who becomes penniless when her philandering husband hires Massey to act as counsel in their divorce settlement. However, Marilyn is not as pure and innocent as she may at first seem, and takes her revenge without so much as batting a heavily ‘mascara-ed’ eyelid. And by then Massey is hooked…could he be her next victim?

This is far more a pure comedy movie with love as a mere sub-plot, and is frequently hilarious, particularly in its excellent attention to detail, such as the t-shirts being sported, Massey’s hilarious obsession with his teeth, and his intestinally-challenged boss. Also a satire on the Beverley Hills set, it features brief appearances from Billy Bob Thornton and Geoffrey Rush to round off a star cast.

Clooney is excellent in the role of Massey, a variation on his Everett McGill character in O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? But you do feel at times he occasionally needs to be reigned in, whilst Zeta-Jones looking undeniably stunning in every scene she’s in, swans around in the most superb elegant Beverley Hills wardrobe. However whilst the couple’s chemistry is good Zeta-Jones somehow still looks a little uncomfortable and brings just a little too much coolness and awkwardness to her character of Marilyn to be genial enough. Cedric the Entertainer is more than worth a mention as the hilarious Gus Petch, a private eye with a promise to nail everything to its arse!

If you fancy a comedy, you’d not do much better than this for a good Friday night laugh.

4 out of 6 stars