FBRM - Intolerable Cruelty
Film-Buff Movie Reviews


INTOLERABLE CRUELTY (2003) ***

The buzz around this film was that it was a throwback to the screwball comedies of the 30s, and on some levels it worked. However, after so many changes in our society regarding what is acceptable and what isnít, what was funny in the 30s sometimes isnít funny now. Donít get me wrong, Intolerable Cruelty did address many issues that may not have been allowed in the 30s, but using the same style as the screwball comedies didnít always work. Then again, in some instances, it worked wonderfully.

That doesnít mean that on itís own Intolerable Cruelty isnít funny, it is ... very funny. George Clooney is great as the conniving, dental-obsessed divorce lawyer who falls for one of his clientsí ex-wife. Catherine Zeta-Jones is stunning as the object of his affection, but her acting is just average, I found. Some of the big laughs come from the supporting cast; who all play characters that are quite wacky.

This is a dark, cynical romantic comedy with quite a few twists and turn (which led to some twists in my stomach, as I sometimes get very involved with the story and the characters ... thatís a testament to the film doing a great job telling a story). Thematically, itís almost a little sad that the sanctity of marriage is taken so lightly nowadays and that for some money is more important than love. Perhaps not a first date movie, but a most for Coen Brothers fans.