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 Laws Of Attraction
 Critic's Rating
   [C-]
 Date Posted
   6th July, 2004
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Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Nora Dunn
Director: Peter Howitt

Hope you have a good memory because you will need it if you wish to remember "Laws of Attraction," an utterly forgettable romantic comedy with charming actors but hopeless everything else. The film's director Peter Howitt (his last cinematic produce, "Johnny English," was probably one of the worst releases in its year) incredulously assumes that the charisma of Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan will ultimately redeem his longwinded direction and the dullness of the script. That it doesn't is no blemish on either actor for even between the seething imprudence they still manage to bring an essential vitality to a story which is incapable of reimbursing their goodwill.

Julianne Moore is Audrey Woods, a successful divorce attorney. She is single and has never lost a case. Pierce Brosnan is Daniel Rafferty, an unconventional man who also has never seen defeat. As fate would have it, both soon find themselves on a high profile case that could make or break their career. But in a battle of wits where victory is pivotal they will soon lose their hearts (and their clothes) quicker than you can say "I know what happens next!" Professional competition aside, Audrey and Daniel apparently have a lot in common but screenwriters Aline McKenna and Robert Harling try their best to make you believe otherwise. When Audrey's reluctance to commit to something more substantial than one-night stands threatens to pop the love bubble the subsequence provides much screen fodder to the film's second half. By then we've seen Michael Sheen and Parker Posey as disgruntled rock star and fashion designer respectively, a couple in the middle of a messy divorce settlement that involves a castle of rock and love in rural Ireland. Yes, don't ask.

"Laws of Attraction" has been carved in the vein of the Hepburn/Tracy screwball comedies of Hollywood's golden era. It has much of the sweetness though very little of the intelligence that made classics such as "Woman of the Year" memorable. Brosnan and Moore put up a good fight and brave gross plot contrivances; supporting them with their cool unpredictability are Sheen and Posey as the eccentric couple from hell. Intended for a mature audience but reduced to mere caricatures living a bad Saturday morning cartoon how can these talented actors save a film when the people who made it do not understand their target audience? - Adnan Khan

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