Intolerable Cruelty (2003) Poster

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Not intolerable, but…
warnerclassic29 October 2004
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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Perfectly tolerable...even enjoyable!
Poseidon-319 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
No one in today's Hollywood is going to truly outshine past pairings such as Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, Cary Grant and Grace Kelly or even Rock Hudson and Doris Day. They simply had too much mystique and showbiz magic behind them for the tabloid-ridden stars of today to compete with. However, based on what's out there today, Clooney and Jones make a delicious, gorgeous pair. In this frothy, sometimes manic production, Clooney stars as an ace divorce attorney. So successful is he that he can turn around even the most airtight cases. Yet he has it all and is bored. After he pulls the rug out from under one of his clients' wives (Jones), she sets out to exact revenge upon him. The two play a cat and mouse game of I-got-you and you-got-me, with their actual feelings occasionally rising to the surface. Clooney is charm epitomized. His jaw-dropping good looks are actually beginning to show minor signs of wear (check out his cheek pores in that opening teeth cleaning sequence and note the onset of wrinkles and rasp in the voice -- though he still looks like a god in kind lighting), but thankfully, he's become such a decent actor that he should have no problem continuing a strong career. In this, he is comparable to Cary Grant, who remained attractive right up until his death. Unfortunately, he doesn't have QUITE the skill that Grant had, but he'll do. (Some of the lingo and jargon that Clooney has to emit looks and sounds like it's over his head.) Jones is astonishing. She has, without question, that old time glamour and the finely honed talent to carry her roles. Her face, clothes, hair...everything is stunning. Together, the two are blisteringly attractive and charismatic. The supporting cast is great here with Rush (in a surprisingly tiny role) hamming it up well and Thornton presenting another one of his oddball characterizations. Also of note are Cedric the Entertainer who is less annoying than expected and especially Adelstein as Clooney's adoring, sentimental cohort. (And it's fun to see Duffy get a big screen role which beautifully utilizes her brittle, nose-in-the-air persona.) One of the funniest and most shocking moments in the film comes courtesy of Keyes who plays an asthmatic hit man. The whole film is peppered with odd little characterizations, some funny, some intriguing, some just bizarre. (The diner waitress is hysterical. The hunky pool man is perfect. Clooney's boss is unintelligible and just plain weird.) The film seems to take place in it's own little world, which can sometimes be quite different from the one the rest of the audience lives in. The quirkiness and farcical nature of the film occasionally threaten to cross it over into Zucker brothers territory, but ultimately it keeps it's feet on the ground. A couple of familiar or dull moments can't dampen the spirit of the whole. The stars are deliriously attractive, the story has a few surprises along the way and the film is very easy on the eyes and often entertaining to the ear. There's also a delightful title sequence inspired by vintage Valentine cards.
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Far from their best work with a few weak spots but still an enjoyable farce
bob the moo8 November 2003
Miles Massey is an amazing divorce lawyer who has a well-earned reputation. When he takes on the case of Rex Rexroth, who was caught on video cheating with another woman, he successfully wins the case and leaves the wronged wife, Marylin, with nothing. However he also falls for her, but she is planning his downfall in return for her losing everything she had.

With a big name pair of leads, it does look very much like the Coen's were looking for a big screen hit that would support their work to a greater extent than the loyal fan base does. As that sort of film, it seems to be doing OK, but, I wondered, at what cost to the product? The film starts well enough with an interesting case which we actually see little of, however the character of Miles is enough to hold the film together. The film contains the usual mix of larger than life characters and quirky humour, but the central romancing doesn't always hold true and there are stretches where the humour dips away to find that there is very little left without it.

Having said that, this doesn't occur often enough to be a problem and the film is still pretty good fun. The characters are it's making and there are enough of those to make it work. Clooney excels in the lead with a strange sort of humour - the same sort of character he played in "O Brother" if you ask me, but he does seem to have a touch for the comic stuff. Jones is less assured and her character has less of the humour I expect from the Coens and is more of a straight role. The support cast is all good as they provide small snippets of humour, whether it be Wheezy Joe or the rude waitress.

Overall it is not the cleverest film the Coen's have done, nor the funniest or most satisfying but, as a multiplex pleasing romance with quirky humour, it does work and should be enjoyed as that.
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Quite Tolerable After the Second Viewing:
Galina7 February 2005
I saw it recently for the second time, and even though the huge holes in the plot are still there, I liked it much more than the first time. Thinking of the holes, Coens are very talented artists - perhaps we, the audiences are supposed to be smarter than Miles Massey (George Clooney - perfectly cast) - the very successful, always victorious divorce attorney for the rich and famous? Massey is the author of unbreakable "Massey's Pre - Nup" but he is so bored and restless than maybe he is waiting for someone who would be able to break it? Enters cool and sensual Marylin Rexroth (who looks exactly like Catherine Zeta-Jones), the woman who is after "wealth, independence, and freedom" and who "eats the men like Massey for breakfast" with the glass of French red wine Château Margot, 1954. Thus starts the game of wills, wits and desires with twists in every turn. Some of them are surprising and clever, some - predictable. "Intolerable Cruelty" may not be the best Coens' film but it is enjoyable, stylish, and funny. At least two scenes closer to the end of the movie are absolutely hilarious.
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uneven film with a most beautiful lady
Roland E. Zwick25 October 2003
I doubt that there are two more strikingly attractive actors in movies today than George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Zeta-Jones, in particular, has the kind of classic beauty that puts her right up there with the great screen legends of all time, women like Ingrid Bergman, Natalie Wood and Audrey Hepburn, who, with their ravishing good looks and photogenic quality, came to define the ideal of female pulchritude in their time.

Credit the Coen Brothers, who made `Intolerable Cruelty,' with having the good sense to know what they had in these two stars and for exploiting it to the full. They have allowed the actors to play off their good looks, most especially Ms. Zeta-Jones, portraying an icy gold-digger who specializes in marrying rich men with the express purpose of taking them for everything they've got once the marriage is ended. Clooney is the first-rate divorce lawyer who finally meets his match when he falls under the spell of this strangely bewitching woman.

The major joy in `Intolerable Cruelty' comes from watching these two tremendously attractive stars go at one another – be it in lust, passion or anger. Miles and Marylin are both seasoned game-players and world-class manipulators who know how to get the better of the hapless victims who stumble headlong into their paths. Unfortunately, the film itself never lives up to its promise of becoming a slashing satire on the mores of our divorce-happy society. The main reason for this is that the script often shoots too low in its tone, opting for an overly broad, slapstick approach when a slyer, subtler style is what's really called for. It's not that `Intolerable Cruelty' doesn't provide its fair share of laughs; it's just that we feel there should be a whole lot more of them given the pedigree of the film's makers and the high-powered acting of its amazingly gifted cast.

In addition to Clooney and Zeta-Jones – who hit all the right notes in their playing off one another – the lineup also includes Geoffrey Rush, Billy Bob Thornton, Edward Herrmann, Richard Jenkins and Cedric the Entertainer, who steals the few scenes he's in with his manic interpretation of a private investigator who specializes in capturing wayward spouses in compromising positions.

Perhaps, `Intolerable Cruelty,' for all its moments of mirth and fun, simply doesn't go far enough into the realm of outrageousness to make the concept really work. The Coen Brothers, who have proven themselves masters of the absurd in the past, for some reason seem to be holding back in this film, going for the easy laugh and the easy sentiment when what we really want is for them to cut loose and go for the jugular (as Danny De Vito did with similar material in `The War of the Roses' so many years ago). Maybe Miles and Marylin need to be a little more nasty, a trifle more cutthroat in their demeanor to bring it all to life.

`Intolerable Cruelty' offers some hearty chuckles and some definite eye-candy in the person of Ms. Zeta-Jones, but, when all is said and done, the film is mainly just promises and not enough delivery.
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A decent comedy from Coen brothers with good cast and writing
PersianPlaya4088 August 2005
I don't see why many hated this movie. I thought the Coen Brothers look at divorce court lawyers' lives in this comedy with a twist was actually pretty interesting. Thte script was first-rate, they sure can write, the direction was interesting for the most part, although film did lose intensity at parts. I thought the acting was great, especially George Clooney who i liked a lot in the lead, he was perfectly casted for this role. Zeta Jones was decent, she pulled off her role, although she still isn't a first-rate actress in my eyes. I thought Rush and Billy Bob Thornton were great in their supporting roles. Cedric the entertainer was wasted here. The film was decent, some good acting, script, decent direction, and nice atmosphere. 8/10
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One of Clooney's Best Performances
Isaac585524 August 2006
A surprisingly smart comedy from Joel and Ethan Cohen, INTOLERABLE CRUELTY is a deft and entertaining comedy about the relationship that develops between a fast talking attorney (George Clooney) and a man-eating gold digger (Catherine Zeta-Jones)who pretty much eats husbands for lunch. This delightful throwback to the Tracy-Hepburn, Grant-Russell comedies of the 30's and 40's moves at a nice pace and is anchored by a razor sharp performance by Clooney, who has rarely been more appealing on screen. Clooney does everything right here and his performance alone makes this film worth seeing, but Zeta-Jones never allows herself to be overshadowed by him in one of her more venomous characterizations. Worthwhile bits are also contributed by Geoffrey Rush, Billy Bob Thornton, Richard Jenkins, and Edward Herrmann. One of the most underrated comedies ever made which is a definite must-see for Clooney fans.
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Back to form.
FilmSnobby22 February 2004
I had been slightly disappointed with the Coens' previous *The Man Who Wasn't There* -- it was, in my judgment, their first non-masterpiece since their apprentice-work *Blood Simple*. While all their films are self-consciously derivative, *Wasn't There* was derivative without the wit (though brilliantly filmed and acted regardless).

*Intolerable Cruelty* is a return to a less fussy Coen style. It's lean, mean, to the point, no wasted scenes. And it's very witty, featuring dialogue and references that have clearly sailed over the average idiot's head, as well as the fairweather Coen Brothers fan's head. Joel and Ethan remind us here that a mainstream IDEA for a movie is not equivalent to a STUPID idea for a movie. The movie mixes wild slapstick with delicious bon mots. There's always something going on. And the picture looks fantastic (another triumph for DP Roger Deakins), showing us a shimmering, sunlit paradise of an almost mythical Los Angeles. The leads, George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones, are also shot to advantage: neither have looked better, and Zeta Jones in particular practically sucks your breath away every time she appears in a different Rodeo Drive confection. Yowza!

The film failed, as almost all Coen Brothers' movies fail, at the box office because, while delightful and funny, it's also ICE-COLD. The filmmakers, as they always do, distance us from the characters, inviting us to contemplate them rather than to get emotionally involved with them. This is a formula for box-office disaster, especially for romantic comedy. The women-demographic who came expecting a chick-flick were turned off cold, and the guys stayed away, anyway. Coen Brothers "fans" once again proved to be a fickle bunch, lambasting the film as too "mainstream" while utterly failing to get the subtext. These are the same "fans", by the way, who avoided *Lebowski* and *Hudsucker* and *Barton Fink* because it was too "excessive" and/or "weird". Make up your minds, fairweathers. In any case, I'll be one of the "I-Told-You-Sos" when, a decade hence, *Intolerable Cruelty* will be regarded as one of the few intelligent romantic comedies made in recent times.

Let me put it this way: if you think a movie in which the two romantic leads put a contract on each other is too "mainstream", you've revealed yourself as a poseur who should leave the amateur reviewing to the grown-ups. Have a nice day.
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Clooney and Zeta Jones at their best
Dan Da'man20 January 2005
Intolerable cruelty is possibly the best written romantic comedy of the modern era. The script writers deserve much credit for this under rated flick, as do Clooney and Zeta-Jones, who turn out their best performances since the turn of the century.

On first viewing this movie can appear just another average comedy with a few names but nothing special. Its what I thought. I even tuned out for some period. But on my repeated viewing I picked up all the delicate intricacies and humour. I now cannot watch this film without feeling happy, it changes my mood. It has a brilliant balance of legal proceedings, meaningless humour, character revealing humour, trait development whilst raising some unavoidable issues about American divorce proceedings. I highly rate this film and ask viewers to relax and enjoy the humour but also pay close attention to the twists and turns.

Also, I recommend Intolerable Cruelty to the education department as it is ideal for students to study and analyse. It will keep them interested and allow them understand character development at its best, whilst giving them an insight into divorce law.
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Maybe I'm just not in the target audience for this one
Brandt Sponseller14 February 2005
Miles Massey (George Clooney) is a divorce attorney whose clientele consists primarily of the rich and powerful in the Los Angeles area. He's well known for an "ironclad" prenuptial agreement named after him and also known for taking his clients' spouses to the cleaners. But when he works his magic against Marilyn Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones), he may have picked on the wrong person.

I didn't find Intolerable Cruelty very funny. I might have chuckled a couple times. The dialogue was mostly affected and pretentious to my ears. The story wasn't very interesting to me. I really couldn't get myself to care what happened to Miles or Marilyn. I've liked most of writers/directors Joel and Ethan Coen's previous films, but Intolerable Cruelty seemed to me to have little of the inventiveness and cleverness of their past efforts. I have also liked most of the past films that George Clooney, Billy Bob Thornton and Geoffrey Rush have been in, but here they seemed to be turning in just okay performances for bad material. Heck, I even loved Clooney's turn at Batman (1997's Batman & Robin), Thornton's portrayal of a rocket scientist in Armageddon (1998), and Geoffrey Rush's eccentric millionaire in House on Haunted Hill (1999), but Intolerable Cruelty just didn't work for me.

Still, I can't say the film was a complete failure. I'm giving it a 6 out of 10, which is equivalent to a "D" in my way of looking at ratings. The performances might have been just okay, but they were okay, not awful. The Coens managed some interesting shots, such as Rush through the windshield of his car, where we mostly see a reflection of trees. That was unusual, and effectively conveyed the heat and brightness of a summer day the way a more traditional shot wouldn't have. The opening scene had promise to me. The Wheezy Joe subplot was fun. The slight suggestions of surrealism in Miles' boss were very enjoyable, although on the other hand, I found myself lamenting that surrealism wasn't the focus of the whole film.

Glancing at other reviews, obviously the film worked for some people. Maybe if you're more in the market for a realist drama cum light farce about divorce lawyers, you'd appreciate it more than I did. But for me, it has me rethinking my desire to collect all of the Coen brothers' films on DVD.
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Out of Sight collides with War of the Roses, resulting in damp squib in a paper bag.
panicoma-122 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Someone should have told the writer-director(s) that Catherine Zeta-Jones is incapable of being cool. As brothers, they should have told each other that the production stank, as must have been evident from the read-through. The casting is is bad as the script which is very bad. Over-the-top acting decorates the whole mess, Clooney may have got away with it in 'O Brother…', but miscasting like that seldom works more than once for anyone, and besides, he was then acting lines inside real Coensworld.

Bad timing, overlong scenes, no sympathetic main character. You want George and Z-J to end up together, but only inasmuch as then the movie might fade to credits. Incidentally there are times you fear it never will. I'd have switched off at several points, but I couldn't believe they could complete this project without at least one saving grace, well, they couldn't, Billy Bob Thornton comes along to save them just one point as far as I'm concerned. Carter Burwell's beautiful music is desperately out of place. The script is littered with pretentious quotations, as if to remind us that Joel and Ethan did rather well at college. (Did they)? It pains me to write this, as I have championed these two since 'Blood Simple', but it really is a very bad exercise in wastage of studio funds.

I paused for a moment to catch my breath, (badly required so that I might deflate my expectations a little more scene by scene), and momentarily I imagined Melanie Griffith and Kevin Spacey doing this movie. It would perhaps have been better, but oh, those lines would not have improved their prospects for another job!

Even when not playing a bitch, Zeta-Jones exudes heartless shallowness, (evidence: 'The Terminal'), and it seems plain that apart from the initial promise shown in 'The Darling Buds of May', that's all she had. As actor after actor attempts to portray emotional attachment it feels more and more cringworthy. Even the dependable actors are unable to build with such insipid mortar. Nothing hangs together, then here comes Burwell again, calling passionate musical themes reminiscent of Miller's Crossing into scenes devoid of any pulse. I feel in this association he has devalued his own work, is it possible he can turn his beautiful music out at the drop of a bad line without the prime mover of a good, connecting human story? Did he even see the film before writing the original score?

Some Sample dialogue, and believe me, the Coens take credit for this: "You must leave the house because I left the gas main on that leaks", honestly, it's there in the movie, then… "Whatever they're paying you, I'll pay you double". It goes on and on and on and on forever and eventually dissolves into slapstick like DeNiro doing a bad Jim Carry part. How can you have so many good ingredients and still spoil the dinner? Did Joel and Ethan really see 'Out of Sight' and 'War of the Roses' in the same week and gamble they could just join the two together with a bad glue-job? It takes more than that, at least a hint of screen chemistry. Unbearably bad, intolerable cruelty. O brothers…. Shame on you.
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Pure cruelty indeed, a dying seal is more funny.
CineCritic251722 October 2006
Imagine yourself and the misses going to a restaurant where after ordering, the waiter will personally force-feed the ordered dish to you with a rusty spoon, at gunpoint.

That pretty much is the experience you get watching Intolerable Clooneyty. The clownesque prefabricated hurls of laughter are being shoved down your throat at a punchline-per-second rate. Ultimately giving u little time to think about what you are watching which may well be its incentive to cover up the naked emperor standing in front of u, shamelessly waving his procreational tools in your face.

Talk about restaurants, take in mind the scene with Clooney and Jones exchanging the one-liners as if it was a ping-pong game which, like with all games, in the end will also have a loser…..why do that? Why deliberately have a flaw on your hands ? I would have granted Jones the siege, but it was Clooney, good for him. Too bad it made Jones look like she couldn't act. Not that that's true, or is it? I'm not sure anymore.

Shortly after that we have the discomforting, Giles de la Tourette inspired, one-liners contest in the courtroom. Supposedly funny but painstakingly embarrassing with perhaps the most corny word-joke in the history of film-making. The list really just goes on and on.

Clooney, Jones and a score of familiar others in the acting business go out of their way to make complete fools of themselves in yet another meager tale screenplayed and directed by the Coen Brothers. Movies of Batman are less cartoonesqeu than the joke which is Intolerable Cruelty. And where was leslie Nielsen to push the queen of England of the stairway?

Of what I don't know, but this was a parody I hope? In any case it only pushed itself as far as embarrassment goes. The only laugh I had during this mockery was the scene where Clooney opened up a magazine, apparently containing indecently exposed senior naturalists, turning two pages 90 degrees to show a full blown close up playboy-style. That really did it for me...

Truly abysmal, neither Jones nor Clooney had any business being in this movie, and this movie had no business being on my screen.

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A very disappointing waste of talent
george_crennan12131 October 2003
I would have to say that I was terribly disappointed by this movie. The storyline offered nothing and the acting was O.K. but not upto the actors usual standards. All in all I was very VERY disappointed by this film. Not worth 2 hours of your time. Avoid.
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I walked out of a movie.
stimpil13 September 2005
I did something I've never done before.

I walked out of a movie.

Even though I wanted to, I didn't even walk out of House of 1,000 Corpses. Usually, I figure, I've paid $8 to see this film, I'll sit through it. Tonight that changed. The real Intolerable Cruelty is subjecting people to this crap AND making them pay for it.

George Clooney plays Miles Massey, an expert divorce attorney who is getting bored with being in bad movies. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a Marylin Rexroth, a gold-digger who is in this film because she must have lost a bet. There are other people in the movie, but I won't embarrass them with credits. This whole film is like a drunk and ditzy girl at the party - she might be nice to look at, but don't get too close, or you'll be bored to sleep with her silly conversation, or vomited upon.

I like George Clooney, but no actor/actress carries out a good performance in this train wreck. The jokes are not only not funny (nothing is quite as hilarious as divorce, except maybe domestic violence), but are so worn-out and tired, they actually sucked the humor out of other movies. It's just another formulaic romantic comedy, and an especially boring one at that.

I blame it on 'reel ass' syndrome. There gets to be a point in any popular director's life, where if that director so much as directs his ass toward a reel of film, a substantial number of people will see the movie. The Coen brothers, credited with great films like The Big Lebowski and The Man Who Wasn't There, have done just that. These asses stink.
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I like this sort of stuff.
jonjustdied9 August 2005
I have seen this movie about three times, all three as late night HBO flicks. At first, I thought the movie was sort of lame and a little ridiculous, especially for the caliber of actors and actresses in it. But slowly, I began to like it. I was attracted to the, albeit, clichéd opposing relationship between Clooney's character and Zeta-Jones's. I enjoy clichés.

I thought their acting was less...acting, and more of realistic attempts at chemistry.

I liked the story, though I didn't always get the characters' actions and reactions.

Some of the camera work and cinematics were interesting; lighting effects made it almost a dreamy/artsy movie. I liked it in that aspect...the impulsive actions and colorful scenery. I wish it could've been more like might've been better.
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Words cannot describe how bad this drivel is!
cheddervetz19 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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André-318 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 ?

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Was that it?
Christian H-N17 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I was really expecting something here. Well, good actors are always nice, but WHERE WAS THE PLOT? Make love, not war, was that it? Really a predictable film, I was expecting to be surprised, but it had the depth of a Donald Duck story.

I am truly disappointed. Watching it is a way to spend some time, if you have nothing better to do, but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

There were moments, where the film was being close to be funny, but they drowned in boredom.

The title of the film is what is happening to the viewer. It is intolerable cruelty to have to watch it all! Especially when there is no plot, at least, not an unpredictable one.

Knowing that the Cohen Brothers have made other films, which are fun to watch, this film really stands out as a disappointment - the script could have been written by a high-school student (maybe it was).
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L.A. L.A. Land
jotix1007 September 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Joel Coen's latest attempts at comedy have not been too exciting. I watched this film in DVD format since the original release didn't last too long and when I tried to see it, it had departed from the local screens. It was a shame because any Coen picture is worth seeing.

Spoilers herein.

This comedy was highly enjoyable because of George Clooney. His take on Miles Massey, the reptilian lawyer he plays, is one of the best things he has done in a while. Mr. Clooney should engage more in lighter roles, such as this, because it appears he is a natural for playing these eccentric types, where he excels.

Miles is a tough divorce lawyer who will stop at nothing to get his male clients to get rid of nasty situations and demanding former wives, until he meets a beautiful creature named Marilyn. She proves to be his downfall. Catherine Zeta-Jones is perfect as this gold digger in search of riches.

Marilyn is left with nothing when she divorces Rex, but that defeat she will turn into a triumph at a later date. Marilyn is calculating and nasty; she wants to get all she can from all these rich husbands and live a life of luxury in L.A. L.A. Land.

This movie has a lot of funny moments. A lot of good performers appear briefly in the movie. Geoffrey Rush is enjoyable as Donovan who suffers his own nasty divorce. Edward Herrmann is equally effective as Rex, Marilyn's naughty husband. Also, Cedric the Entertainer has a couple of good scenes where he is hilarious. The only one that doesn't get to do a whole lot is Billy Bob Thurnton, who is totally wasted as the fake husband Howard.

Ultimately the film belongs to George Clooney. It was a pleasure watching him being the object of Marilyn's own revenge, only to find out at the end that she couldn't resist him at all.
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How not funny can a so-called funny film be?
sofie-vandereycken2 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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Untolerable Cruelty to Watch
poliglot7 March 2004
What a mess! One of the worst cinematic pieces of Rubbish of this or any other Century! Now George Clooney has made two movies on the IMDb worst 100 movies list This One and Batman....jeeze ....I just wanted everyone in this movie to die. Not Funny, Not Clever....

The acting, If one can call it that was hackneyed, Contrived, posed, and just plain awful. In a word "hammy" at the best, and borrish and Silly at the worst. This was a film about truly dispicble people whom we were supposed to laugh at....In our film, Hero (yeah right) George has an epiphany of regret from his evil ways and finds "love" in his heart of hearts...then in the next seen wants the object of his new found profound love "Whacked!?" Yeah, Right, Now there is a Movie for the New Milineum....Aaaaargh! What a waist of money and time...
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An awful movie! Bad, BAD, BAD!!
barrypowder28 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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The title definitely fits the movie
gthomastn18 October 2003
Sitting through this movie was definitely Intolerable Cruelty. The sparse plot was too predictable and the characters were too over the top and cliche'. The chemistry between George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones was nearly non-existent. The movie had good potential but the movie fell way short.
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What a disappointment
simmons-41 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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