Miles Massey, a prominent Los Angeles divorce attorney has everything--and in some cases, two of everything. Despite his impressive client list, a formidable win record, the respect of his peers and an ironclad contract (the Massey pre-nup) named after him, he's reached a crossroads in his life. Sated on success, boredom has set in and he's looking for new challenges. All that changes when Miles meets his match in the devastating Marylin Rexroth. Marylin is the soon-to-be ex-wife of his client Rex Rexroth, a wealthy real estate developer and habitual philanderer. With the help of hard charging private investigator Gus Petch, she has Rex nailed and is looking forward to the financial independence a successful divorce will bring. But thanks to Miles' considerable skills, she ends up with nothing. Not to be outdone, Marylin schemes to get even and as part of her plan, quickly marries oil tycoon Howard Doyle. Miles and his unflappable associate, Wrigley, unwittingly dig themselves in ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Much of the film's plot is driven by inaccurate representations of California divorce law. Under the community property theory, factors like infidelity are virtually irrelevant to the distribution of property upon divorce. See more »
George Clooney stars as a self-loving whiter than white toothed lawyer who is becoming bored with his never-ending success. A challenge comes in the shapely form of Marilyn Rexroth (Catherine Zeta Jones) who wants to marry (or preferably divorce) her way to riches. With Clooney hired to represent her soon to be ex husband, he inevitably falls for the gold diggers charms.
Directed by the Coen brothers, a directorial team who have helmed oddball comedies such as 'Fargo' and 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' this is the team's first branch in to a high profile Hollywood film. Clooney, as the sharp suited lawyer, is excellent. Like Cary Grant or David Niven, Clooney is able to mock himself without compensating his screen appeal. Catherine Zeta Jones as the money hungry Marilyn is as sexy as her character demands from the scripted page. However, despite the quick fire dialogue, Intolerable Cruelty is simply not as funny as it thinks, it's cynical message of love and money taking away the romantic push it needs to place it in the league of the Tracy/Hepburn films the movie aspires to. Clooney's character also suffers from an over enthusiastic plot that later drives his character to attempt to commit a crime that totally contradicts the audiences perception of him. A battle of the sexes comedy that has sex appeal but no romance, Intolerable Cruelty is a film that reaches for the golden age of Hollywood but only touches the bronze.
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