Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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Movie review

A laughably twisted love story

Published October 20, 2003

Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

Intolerable Cruelty


SUMMARY: Miles Massey (George Clooney) is a conniving, sought-after Beverly Hills divorce lawyer with a cut-throat reputation and a knack for talking his way out of any situation. He encounters a client, Rex Rexroth (Edward Herrmann), with an interesting dilemma. Rexroth, an extremely wealthy womanizer, has cheated on Marylin (Catherine Zeta-Jones), his wife of five years. We discover that she married Rexroth only for the big payoff after the planned divorce. She has hired private investigator Gus Petch (Cedric the Entertainer) to catch him in the act, and her loving husband now wants her thrown out of his house. During the divorce trial, Marylin's plan to collect a big payoff goes awry because of Massey's cunning strategies. She is unfazed and immediately marries into another big-bucks relationship, while Miles, intrigued by her steadfast, unforgiving nature, pursues her. They wind up going head-to-head: She desires to one day gain immense riches, and he hopes to win her heart.

MY VIEW: This film has a clever plot, which breaks the mold of the run-of-the-mill romantic comedies by focusing less on the love story and more on the twisted premise. It's witty enough to satisfy the slightly sardonic crowd, yet gushy enough to keep the love-story junkies content. Cedric the Entertainer provides many of the laugh-out-loud moments, and Clooney's take-no-prisoners approach to being a divorce lawyer is quite droll. Zeta-Jones is ideally cast as the sophisticated lady, with her sly ulterior motives hidden beneath thick layers of flirtation and seduction.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Hearty laughs and thorough enjoyment are likely. This is one of the better romantic comedies released in the past year. Sexual innuendos and slightly offensive humor are moderate - it is a Coen brothers movie - so the PG-13 rating is a necessity.


- Billy Norris, 15, is in 10th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times' X-Team.

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