out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
|*Also starring: ||Jane Krakowski, Omar Epps, Nia Long, Marisa Tomei, Graydon Carter, Julienne Davis, Anastasia Griffith, Edward Hogg, Adoni Maropis, Sienna Miller, Claudette Mink, Marjan Neshat||
Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4
Some concepts are timeless. "Alfie" is not. The 1966 British film
starring Michael Caine delved into class distinctions and had then-relevant
social significance about the hedonistic Mod lifestyle. This flimsy remake is
simply a contemporary portrait of a charming cad.
Transposed from London to New York, Alfie (Jude Law) is a smooth sexual
predator who larks about on a Vespa, noting that the Big Apple has "the most
beautiful birds in the world." His serial seductions include a neglected wife
(Jane Krakowski) and his "semi-regular, quasi-sort of girlfriend" (Marisa
Tomei), a single mother with a young son. Then, over the Christmas holidays, he
becomes involved with a glamorous cosmetics executive (Susan Sarandon) and a
sexy, substance-abusing party girl (Sienna Miller, Law's new off-screen love).
And there's an ill-fated one-night stand with his buddy's (Omar Epps) estranged
girl-friend (Nia Long).
Outrageously stylish and handsome, Jude Law is tart and trendy where
Michael Caine was a calculating misogynist. Caine was a contemptible Cockney;
Law is just a shallow Eurotrash jerk.
Director Charles Shyer, who co-wrote the screenplay with Elaine Pope, has
utilized much of Bill Naughton's original concept, including having the naughty
lothario talk directly into the camera, thereby taking us into his confidence
about his various conquests. However, unlike the 1966 film, this
"Alfie"unfortunately lacks a climactic drama to complete the character arc. To
his credit, Shyer does retain the original song by Burt Bacharach and Hal
David, along with several diverting musical interludes with Mick Jagger, Dave
Stewart and John Powell. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Alfie" is a
style-over-substance 5. So what's it all about?
Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger
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