Saturday, May 28, 2011

Intolerable Cruelty: Movie Review

Taking a romantic comedy to cynical and hilarious extremes.

A romantic comedy where love is completely removed from the equation but the comedy is multiplied. "Intolerable Cruelty" takes place in a time and place where marriages fall apart. All marriages will collapse, implode, and be completely annihilated. And if it doesn't happen on the day of the wedding, divorce lawyers will make sure it happens soon thereafter.   2003

Directed by: Joel Coen

Screenplay by: Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

Starring: George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones

It's as cynical as you can possibly get, but the film keeps a light tone so it's more funny than disheartening. It focuses on man's (and woman's) greed for money and the cons to pull to get there. Successful people have learned how to use marriage solely for personal financial gain. Miles (George Clooney) though might just fall in love when he meets Marylin (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who seems to have perfected this game. Anybody would fall in love with Catherine Zeta-Jones in this movie, but money is way more important than love.

It took me multiple viewings to successfully follow the trail of money and broken hearts, and that's the sign of a good film. The comedy is fast, funny and smart and will keep you entertained throughout even if you do get confused with who is conning whom. "Intolerable Cruelty" is as funny and cynical as you can possibly get, but that's one great combination.


I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) - A mix of crime and romance in a more realistic way but just as funny.

Down With Love (2003) - A spoof on '60s romantic comedies and gender wars.

America's Sweethearts (2008) - Cynicism of celebrity romance as a romantic comedy.

Ira & Abby (2006) - The cynicism of marriage in a more, or less, traditional romantic comedy form.