Intolerable Cruelty

Director: Joel Coen
Year Released: 2003
Rating: 1.0

A dreadful embarrassment for the Coen Brothers - it's been said this is supposed to be a screwball comedy, but I counted only three minor laughs and one major one (Edward Herrmann playing 'choo-choo' with a group of models - yeah, it's silly, so what), and saw hesitation when it should have been goofy and frantic. It's intended to be a farce: people divorce at the drop of a hat, lawyers are shifty (can you believe that?), the world's all wrong ... yet when it comes to the conclusion that there is true 'love' (with Clooney and Zeta-Jones getting together), it bears the Coen Mark of Pessimistic Contempt because the final decision was arrived at in a few minutes and is barely believable. How can you go from near great (The Man Who Wasn't There) to garbage in one film? It takes a certain kind of brilliance to make this kind of mistake.