The story follows a married couple, apart for a night while the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he's attracted. While he's resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love.
A poet falls in love with an art student who gravitates to his bohemian lifestyle -- and his love of heroin. Hooked as much on one another as they are on the drug, their relationship alternates between states of oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.
Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his drinking, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.
Smart-but-ineffectual journalist Dan "We use euphemisms!" cannot decide between his girlfriend, loving-but-clingy waitress Alice, or his lover cold-but-intellectual photographer Anna; herself indecisive between Dan and honest-but-thuggish "You're bloody gorgeous!" doctor Larry. The film, as Tarantino might put it, puts the four leading characters in a box and strips them apart. Written by
The Blower's Daughter
Written and Performed by Damien Rice
Under license to Vector Recordings, LLC/Warner Bros. Records Inc. and 14th Floor Records
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing US and Warner Strategic Marketing UK See more »
I am unable to recall a film with characters less appealing than the foursome of "Closer." Each character has his or her shade of nastiness that runs through this excruciating film experience.
One of the problems is that the dialogue does not provide the star actors (Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Clive Owen, and Natalie Portman) with sufficient motivation for the two pairs of lovers to be starting, ending, swapping, and resuming their relationships. The sudden and awkward transitions leave out the crucial scenes and moments where the relationships change. Out of this muddied and amateurish mess, there emerge three questions:
(1) Was this film intended to be funny? If so, the effort falls way short of the satirical writing of Edward Albee in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"--a film that was also directed by Mike Nichols.
(2) Was this film supposed to be engaging in the psychology of love? If so, the better films in this category would be "Dangerous Liaisons" or "Valmont."
(3) Was this film intended to depict the realities of contemporary romantic relationships? If so, the better film would be "Cast Away" wherein we see a much more healthy relationship with Tom Hanks and his soccer ball named Wilson.
In the closing credits of "Closer," Patsy Rodenburg (one of the world's leading experts on Shakespearean text) is listed as the dialect coach for Natalie Portman, whose character is from New York. The IMDb bio of Natalie Portman indicates that she completed high school in New York. Did Patsy coach Natalie on her New York accent, or only on her Iago-like line readings?
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