A laughably twisted love story
By BILLY NORRIS
Published October 20, 2003
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris
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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