ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Mackin'it up with Intolerable Cruelty
Starring: George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Directed by: Joel and Ethan Coen
By Myles DeRosse
Gazette file photo
TENSION AT ITS CLIMAX. Catherine Zeta-Jones and George
Clooney showcase their seemingly sadistic nature in the
Coen Brothers’ latest film, Intolerable
When the genius Coen brothers, known for fantastic flicks such as Fargo and The
Big Lebowski, came out with a new movie, who would've ever guessed they would
tackle the genre of romantic comedy?
Well, in their latest flick, Intolerable Cruelty, that's exactly what they
The story starts with big-shot divorce lawyer Miles Massey (Clooney) realizing
he is bored stiff with his job and in turn with his life. Just as things start
to get really bad for Massey, he has to defend a rich client against a gold-digging
wife who is trying to take everything from him; the client's wife also has
a lot of evidence against the "cheating bastard." The whole case
leads to another problem for Massy: the first time he lays eyes on this woman,
he falls in love.
The movie then follows Massey trying to court his newfound love and the many
ways Marilyn (Zeta-Jones) finds to continuously knock him down.
The performances by Clooney and Zeta-Jones are, by all means, amazing. Nobody
can pull off the confident and fast-talking lawyer as humorously as Clooney,
while Zeta-Jones works wonders as a beautiful yet ruthless woman trying to
get it all.
Although the acting by the major stars is fantastic, it is the smaller parts
in the film that steal the show.
Cedric the Entertainer has a hilarious role as a private investigator that
swears if you're doing something wrong, he's gonna "nail ya ass" and
let you know how bad he just "nailed ya ass." Plus, Billy-Bob Thorton
plays to perfection a gullible oil tycoon who is used as a pawn in the mind
games between Miles and Marilyn.
Even with these great actors delivering stellar performances, the movie is
still a romantic comedy. However, Intolerable Cruelty does not follow the general
template used by most romantic comedies. The Coen Brothers find ways to include
multiple twists and sharp turns that are actually believable and advance the
story in a humorous way.
There are also many crazy characters (probably to be expected since the movie
is set in California -just look at the new Governor) that keep the story from
getting dull, including an asthmatic hit man named Wheezy Joe. The movie is
full of one-liners that will actually make you laugh out loud.
Even though everything about the movie is pulled off flawlessly, some of the
Coen brothers' magic is missing; Cruelty does not seem to be in the same league
as all of the brothers' previous films. In their first attempt to make a mainstream
movie, it seems they must have had to compromise some of their artistic talent
to worry about making a movie that would break the box office. Although Intolerable
Cruelty is not quite what you might expect from the Coen brothers, it's still
one of the best romantic comedies made in recent years.
While the movie may be in a genre synonymous with "chick flicks," Intolerable
Cruelty is definitely much more than that and it deserves to be the Coen brothers'
box office breaker.