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Movie Review: Intolerable Cruelty

Story: Oh, woe is me! What a disappointment! The Coen brothers (Joel and Ethan) attempt to recreate those screwball romantic comedies or yore falls flat on its face. Oh, it has moments of big laughs and kooky characters and is visually and technically right on the money...it simply doesn't work.

It is about divorce, divorce lawyers, greed, gold-diggers, adultery and mayhem -- all good topics for laughs (as anyone who has gone through a divorce and is somewhat distanced from the process knows). But unlike the Coen's other 'comedies' such as Hudsucker Proxy and Fargo this one misses the usual edge that I enjoy so much.

The dialogue is flat, the situations forced (and mostly unbelievable) and suffice it to say it was intolerably disappointing.

Acting: I like both George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones. They were fine in their roles but the roles stunk.

Predilection: I am big fan of the Coen brothers.

Critters: Two Rottweilers, a Standard Poodle and a fluffy, yippy little white dog.

Food: Meat, ham sandwich, salad, Chinese food takeout and pizza.

Visual Art: Not much to look at but bad modern art.

Blatant Product Placement: American Airlines, Heineken Beer, Scope Mouthwash, Helmut Land After Shave, Caesar's Palace, The Mirage Hotel and a HUGE billboard for Siegfried and Roy.

Soundtrack: When a film opens with a Simon and Garfunkle tune and follows immediately with Suspicious Minds sung by the King...I am readily hooked into the music.

Opening Titles: Cutesy

Theater Audience: A small but feisty bunch. About ten minutes into the film we all heard the cries of a baby. The crowd did not stand for this and booed and hollered at the poor woman to get her child out of the theater and what kind of a mother was she anyway?

After the film another wacky incident occurred. As I strolled to my mandatory visit to the Ladies Room I saw two elderly, tiny women outside excitedly telling me that their friend was locked in a stall. Ahhhh...a moment for heroics was needed! I entered the Ladies Room to hear the cries of 'HELP!' from inside one of the stalls. I tried to encourage her to open the lock but by this time she was either laughing or crying...it was hard to tell. So I stood on the adjacent toilet seat and peered over the top into her stall. She screamed! I hoisted myself over and desperately tried not to land in the toilet. I saved the day! I got her out and the four of us burst out laughing. We all decided that this event was much funnier than anything we had just seen in the film!

Predictability Level: High

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: Intolerably disappointing.

Big Screen or Rental: Neither. But for some other Coen Brothers films, how about trying: The Man Who Wasn't There, O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Big Lebowski, Fargo, The Hudsucker Proxy, Barton Fink, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona, and Blood Simple.

Length: Under the 2 hour rule (thankfully).