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Intolerable Cruelty
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Intolerable Cruelty More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Ed Wood Lives

2/10
Author: csp46 from United States
17 January 2013

If you have a choice of watching this thing or "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Choose "Plan 9". If you have a choice of watching this thing or "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Choose "Plan 9". If you have a choice of watching this thing or "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Choose "Plan 9". If you have a choice of watching this thing or "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Choose "Plan 9". If you have a choice of watching this thing or "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Choose "Plan 9". If you have a choice of watching this thing or "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Choose "Plan 9". If you have a choice of watching this thing or "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Choose "Plan 9". If you have a choice of watching this thing or "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Choose "Plan 9". If you have a choice of watching this thing or "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Choose "Plan 9". If you have a choice of watching this thing or "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Choose "Plan 9".

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Average at best

4/10
Author: Kate Mullins from United States
1 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love George Clooney, and Catherine Zeta Jones is cool too, but I find it hard to know where to start with this film. Its vulgar pursuit of comedy seems to be at the expense of decency and human feeling. Witness the mind-boggling depiction of Clooney's boss as a man on permanent life support, wheezing and coughing. Neither Clooney nor Zeta Jones shows much interest in acting, mannerisms proving sufficient. The script is lazy, disjointed and highly unedifying. Production values of all sorts seem to have gone out of the window in a feeble belief that a bit of zaniness makes up for character development and plot. I left this film with a bad taste in my mouth and a hatred of America's legal system, at least in so far as it impacts upon the divorces of wealthy people, which is sort of what this film is about.

Wasn't worth the 3 dollars I paid for the DVD, to be quite honest.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Insipid Coen Brothers' Film.

Author: flask
5 April 2004

"Intolerable Cruelty" (2003) is a mildly pleasing film which suffers from a lack of creative clarity. The Coen brothers do not know what they want their film to be: Is it a glossy romance in the inimitable style of the 1930s and 1950s? Is it yet another feather-weight film in that clichéd Battle of the Sexes genre or is it secretly a black comedy from the usual Coen formula? Unfortunately, the film fails in all of these categories and must be taken just as it is: a muddled final product often scant on humor.

The overall premise is intriguing: a skilled divorce lawyer, Miles Massey (George Clooney), falls in love for an out-and-out gold digger, Marylin Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who seems incapable of true love. The viewer spends most of his/her time waiting for hilarious moments which rarely materialize.

In terms of acting, George Clooney almost carries the film entirely with his excellent smarmy performance, but fails to do so because of Catherine Zeta-Jones. Clooney has a kinetic personal energy which radiates onscreen and requires an equally compelling member of the opposite sex to match it. Unfortunately, throughout the film Zeta-Jones, who gave excellent performances in "The Mask of Zorro" and "Traffic," literally seems to be on auto-pilot. She lacks her usual spark and, in the end, it utterly sinks the film. She needed to be more lively and engaging. On a side note, Cedric the Entertainer nearly steals the film out from under both stars as the enthusiastic Gus Petch, a smut-digging detective with a disturbing affinity for his work.

Now, it is clear that the Coen brothers planned that this film be in homage to the comedic classics of the golden years of studio cinema. The key problem is that the Coen brothers lack the world-weary, sardonic humor of an Ernst Lubitsch, a Preston Sturges or a Billy Wilder. As a result, we have instead what seems to be a Down syndrome clone of a 1950s Doris Day film. Realistically speaking, the Coen brothers aimed for an unattainable goal: it is well-nigh impossible to mimic the comedic studio gems of the 1930s. Those unique films were created in a bipartisan age when one half of society dwelled in abject poverty only to glimpse the sophisticated lifestyle of the upper-class through a camera lens: of elegance and wit; of style over substance: a forgotten era in which gentlemen and ladies were well-mannered, well-manicured, well-groomed, well-dressed and engaged in a bourgeois self-indulgence that bordered on fairytale decadence. Our own era of T-shirts, sweat pants and factory-made Nike sneakers is putrid in comparison. Nothing of that bygone era, including its legendary films, can ever be duplicated. It is a pity the Coen brothers even attempted to do so.

In summary, "Intolerable Cruelty" is an insipid disappointment. You walk away slightly amused, but not feeling that vague, hard-to-put-your-finger-on "soul cleansing" sensation which many top-notch comedies leave in their wake.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Some hidden hilarity in a weak farce of a film

6/10
Author: secondtake from United States
13 August 2013

Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

The movie begins with such over the top zaniness I almost didn't keep going. It comes from the funny side of the Coen Brothers work--like "Raising Arizona" or "O Brother Where Art Thou?" And it has some funny moments for sure, but overall it has a formulaic romantic comedy plot and routine construction and filming.

George Clooney almost makes the film good on his own. He's smart, sharp, varied from scene to scene, and he fits his role. The icy "beauty" that trips him up in his matrimonial law practice is place by Catherine Zeta-Jones, who just can't quite act, and the part needed a real actor there. The interplay between them was meant to be like the old screwball comedy days with hyperbole and the clashing of stars who, you assume, have to get together by the end. Zeta-Jones can't keep up with Clooney here.

The plot is like any number of comedies where there's a simple clever situation and a simple impediment to success. In this case the lawyer played by Clooney makes a ton of money arranging divorces that enrich his clients. And him. He's great at this until one day the Zeta-Jones character ends up across the table from him and he somehow withers, as if he's met his match.

We're supposed to think these two have chemistry, and that the battle of wits and tricks that ensues is all foreplay of some sort. And it's meant to be funny (which is often is, but the script has too many clichés). By the end there is a rousing speech which is lame, and maybe lame on purpose because the crowd loves the speech beyond reason, but it doesn't carry. The convoluted cleverness of the director/producer/writer team (Joel and Ethan) isn't really focused here.

I have to admit I wouldn't have finished this if it wasn't a Coen brothers movie because I really love some of their films. But be prepared for something not quite as amazing or different as it could be.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The weakest of the Coen brothers' films I've seen, though it's not all on their end to blame

Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
11 October 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Intolerable Cruelty was a film that didn't originate with the Coen brothers. Unlike such masterpieces as Blood Simple and Fargo, and even theatrical sleepers like The Man Who Wasn't There and The Big Lebowski, this was a film in all likely-hood offered to them from producer Brian Grazer and from a story by Matthew Stone and Robert Ramsey (of EdTV fame if you're wondering who they are). Indeed, this is the first time a Coen brothers film (with a possible exception being O Brother Where Art Thou, which also starred George Clooney) looks 'big' bucks.

There are signs in the story of why Joel and Ethan Coen would want to make this movie, since it has an intriguing idea that runs along their sense of sly/cleverness. Miles Massey (Clooney, showing off his teeth) is a marriage lawyer who's risen to fame among his ranks for win after win, and a pre-nup named after him that's impenetrable. Enter Rex Rexroth (Edward Hermann), who has been caught on camera in a scene of infidelity, and still wants to get away without giving her anything in divorce court. His wife is the icy, gorgeous Marilyn (Catherine Zeta-Jones in a performance within a performance), who through the course of the film has a few tricks up her sleeve, which impresses Miles enough to start falling in love with her. This, even as she plans to re-marry after her divorce to an oil tycoon (Billy Bob Thornton, who gives a small role that should've had more to it).

I wouldn't consider Intolerable Cruelty to be a perpetually bad film, in fact there were a few of characters of note that brought out belly laughs from me: Geoffrey Rush shows off his acting chops in the opening scene, and two bit parts for Jonathan Hadary as Heinz, the Baron Krauss von Espy, and Irwin Keyes as Wheezy Joe, reminded me what irreverent and uproarious spirit the Coens bring to their films. However, a lot of the film is filled mostly with dialog, though clever, that probably looked funnier on paper - the performances by the stars mean well, but a lot of times the combination of the acting and writing is dry. Do Clooney and Zeta-Jones have chemistry, yes, but when a story like this is this obvious it blocks real interest in these characters, who for at least half of the film are shallow amidst the romantic/black comedy. C+

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

How not funny can a so-called funny film be?

1/10
Author: sofie-vandereycken from Belgium
2 April 2004

I saw this movie last week on the airplane when travelling overseas. So maybe the circomstances weren't the same as in the cinema, but that doesn't change the contents of a film and I have to say: it was really baddddd... I thought it would at least be somewhat funny, but not at all. Same old stuff over and over again, I wasn't even able to grin! Is this what we call humour nowadays? I'm glad I didn't spend a single euro on that in any case... The only good thing about the movie was the good looks of the actors, but for the rest... One big zero!

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

What a disappointment

3/10
Author: simmons-4 from Seattle, WA
1 November 2003

Despite having Zeta-Jones, this was hardly watchable. It was NOT funny save for one rare moment. It was bad writing, mediocre acting, poor plot, etc. Although endings in film are often not known for being believable, this takes that problem to a height. In summary, it was just not entertaining.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

An awful movie! Bad, BAD, BAD!!

1/10
Author: barrypowder from L.A.
28 October 2003

This is an awful film that has nothing to recommend it for. The actors look embarrassed and it just falls apart after an O.K. start. You leave the theater wondering WHAT WENT SO WRONG. I was VERY disappointed by this movie and I cannot recommend this rubbish. Awful film. Bad, BAD, BAD!!!!

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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Words cannot describe how bad this drivel is!

1/10
Author: cheddervetz from L.A.
19 October 2003

Intolerable Cruelty is a dire, witless film that is neither funny or clever. It is a bad film with little to save it. Clooney looks embarressed and Jones is ineffective in this role. The Coens have finally made a bad film. Words cannot describe how bad this drivel is!

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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Abysmal

1/10
Author: André-3 from Ontario
18 October 2003

Abysmal, abysmal, abysmal.

It is the worst film my wife and I have ever seen. Well, close to the worst. Except for the old "well connected" geezer scenes, it is NOT funny. The plot is ridiculous. A bad, boring story badly, boringly told. The leading lady, lovely but vacuous. A cardboard cutout. The leading man, ugly and unfunny.

The type of film where you wear out your watch battery looking at the time and how long you have been suffering through it. How any reviewer can see any merit in it is beyond my understanding. We were ashamed of walking out of the theatre at the end of the film. Why had we not walked out at the beginning. Have we no taste ?

André

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