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Laws of Attraction

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Laws of Attraction

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore
Director: Peter Howitt
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: April 2004
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Parker Posey, Michael Sheen, Mina Badie, Peter Ballance, Elva Crowley, Nora Dunn, Mike Doyle, Frances Fisher, Vincent Marzello, Brendan Morrissey

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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