Saturday Movies: Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

You probably wouldn’t associate The Coen Brothers with a romantic comedy, but it’s true. They did in Coen Brother style though. The tone of the movie is fun and humor filled, while the characters aim to be unlikable, but somehow charming. George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones star in this movie that gives the duo a lot of chemistry as they form a romantic connection.

Summary: Marilyn has a way of making a living that suits her, and she plans on gaining the ultimate pay off to live an independent lifestyle from her divorces. After one lawyer though almost jeopardizes her plan she ends up becoming more focused on revenge than anything. Miles is a really great divorce lawyer. He even has his own annulment made out for marrying couples to sign that he guarantees will protect anyone that is the richer of the two. Miles though has fell for one of his clients now ex wife, Marilyn. The two though go head to head in a battle of independence verse love in this movie where the two have to sort of let go of long held beliefs about how they want to live.

Acting:  George Clooney is a good actor, but I honestly can’t tell him apart that well from his other roles either. In this one though, he does depict the arrogant divorce lawyer, who is then love struck himself. Catherine Zeta Jones hasn’t had a role in a while that really was something that highlighted what her personality worked for. Jones though is quite good in this movie as Marilyn, who is a man eater basically. She has a lot of attitude, but by the end you do veer on hating her unless she makes a drastic change.

Filming: Something I like about Coen brothers movies is how they are filmed. They pay a lot of attention to detail in almost every scene. The alignment of the scenes show great composition with how the lines in the ceiling to the desk all create a well documented atmosphere. They know how to switch to create the vibe that works for each movie whether it be a more warm and inviting feel as in this one, or a dark more dreary feel in Fargo. There is also the strong color to note as well. They get that romantic atmosphere well without being too cheesy. There are lots of lamp lights, beach tones, and warm colors to go around the whole movie.

Plot: The plot is one that is a little bit silly, and it’s supposed to be to create some humor in the middle of a dramatic situation. These aren’t supposed to be people we relate to, except for some people you might relate to how love changes your life, as it has for Miles. Once falling, it completely uproots everything he knows about love and marriage. The movie does have one point though where it becomes way too unrealistic to how Miles’ character is though. I would think anyone who has been as involved in the courtroom and divorces as he would, would not quickly make a dumb decision like he did. It didn’t seem logical in the gist of the movie.

Intolerable Cruelty is an appropriate romantic comedy for men and women. It isn’t too cheesy and it combines humor well. It does stretch some plot points to feeling unrealistic to the personality of the characters, but I won’t give away what those are. The movie has an intelligent vibe to it though, and it does capture the vibe they have for the movie quite well.

Rating 8 of 10.

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