out of 4
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Laws of Attraction
Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4
Your Honor, I object. It's not fair. In the romantic comedy LAWS OF
ATTRACTION, the two combatants, Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore, are just not
equally matched. Brosnan, as always, is magnificent, but Moore, who can be
good in the right roles, is badly miscast as Brosnan's comedic opponent. To
put it bluntly, he acts rings around her. It's great fun watching him but kind
of embarrassing seeing Moore's awkward and unsuccessful attempts at humor.
The two of them play divorce attorneys who have never lost a single case until
they come up against each other. Brosnan plays Daniel Rafferty, a disheveled
and disorganized lawyer, of whom it is said that "madness is his method." As
his polar opposite, Moore plays Audrey Miller, an anal retentive klutz. In
short, he's a dumb lawyer who is a closet brainiac while she is a supposedly
brilliant lawyer who actually doesn't seem to have a clue. How either one of
them has won all of their cases is a mystery.
While on their first case as opposing lawyers, they find that they share an
after-hours proclivity for binge drinking and casual sex, which she regrets but
he doesn't. She, of course, eventually gets over her regrets and falls head
over heels in love with him.
A hot-and-cold subplot concerns Audrey's mother (Frances Fisher), who is as
addicted to plastic surgery and extra-young men as Audrey is obsessed with
mainlining junk food. The movie's best exchange occurs between Daniel and
Audrey's mother -- who hates to be referred to as "mother," since she thinks
that it makes her seem old. "Are you really fifty-six," Daniel asks. "Parts
of me are," Audrey's (shhh!) mother replies with a twinkle in her eye.
With someone other than Moore as the female lead, LAWS OF ATTRACTION could have
sizzled rather than fizzled in a lopsided battle of wills.
LAWS OF ATTRACTION runs 1:30. It is rated PG-13 for "sexual content and
language" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes
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