1953. Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family on the day after Christmas. His unemployment and the fact that there is no woman in the house to care for the children,... See full summary »
This is the story of two New York divorce attorneys who are often competing against each other, but end up in a relationship nonetheless. When they get married, can they avoid the same issues at home that lead people to provide them business at work? One of the central cases in the story is the heavily-publicized divorce of a rock star from his wife... Written by
Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Doris Day may have made better screwball comedies, but this one just about works, by downplaying punchlines and taking obvious idiocies as read, such as the leads' addictions to sweeties and their penchant for falling through doors or knocking things over. But with these traits, how is it their apartments are immaculate? A directorial faux-pas here.
Julianne Moore is wonderful as usual, playing the rather uptight divorce lawyer, impressed despite herself with Brosnan's physical attractions. She is a mistress of the personality contrasts: sweet smile against dagger-drawn eyes; disconcerted reactions with suave sophistication; professional aplomb in the courtroom, but slobbing out in front of the TV. She is not only determined to resist Brosnan but successfully compete against him, while her mother, brilliantly played by Frances Fisher, is determined to persuade her to accept his overtures. Frances Fisher almost steals the film with her over-the-top, much-married, society fashion character, distinctly contrasting with Julianne Moore's more stuffy persona (reminiscences of Edina and Saffy in Absolutely Fabulous?).
I cringed at the scenes in Ireland, but this film does not pretend to be anything other than a sweet-thing romantic comedy of deliberate game-playing. It doesn't go for stand-up jokes, but just bowls along happily in its overdose of sugar. Moore is marvelous in serious drama (The Hours and Far From Heaven) but is proving equally at home with zany comedy (see also Cookie's Fortune). Brosnan relies on his handsome looks to see him through any part, but his comedy timing is as excellent as Moore's. The characters' common clumsiness is as well-timed as anything Doris Day did in That Touch Of Mink, or Cary Grant in Monkey Business. Given that Brosnan and Moore are more often seen in adventure or drama, an outing into comedy does not go amiss and gives us a chance to see them do something different. I wasn't sure of the film to begin with, but it grew on me. As long as it is accepted as a light and frothy entertainment, with no other purpose than whiling away a Sunday afternoon in front of the fire with a box of chocolates, it's a fine movie. Does Frances Fisher ever play any other character than someone's mother?
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