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What Rats Won't Do (1998)

R | | Comedy, Romance | 1 July 1998 (USA)
Soon to be married lawyer Kate Beckenham has landed the case of a lifetime. Her courtroom opponent turns out to be the charming Jack Sullivan, who has never lost a single case.


Alastair Reid


Steve Coombes (screenplay), Dave Robinson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
James Frain ... Jack
Natascha McElhone ... Kate
Amy Phillips ... Ellen
Valentine Pelka Valentine Pelka ... Graham
Samantha Bond ... Jane
Freddie Jones ... Judge Foster
Chris Jury ... Defendant
Peter Capaldi ... Tony
W. Stephen Gilbert W. Stephen Gilbert ... Foster's Clerk
Harry Enfield ... Verger
Paul Rider Paul Rider ... Kate's Clerk
Philip Jackson ... Jack's Dad
Georgie Glen ... Woman with Dog
Parker Posey ... Mirella
Charles Dance ... Gerald


In London, the lawyer Kate Beckenham is near to her wedding day with her fiancé Graham, when she is invited to defend a heritage case against the brilliant lawyer Jack Sullivan, who has never lost a case in court. The twenty-one years old American Mirella Burton is disputing fifteen millions of pounds and some properties against Gerald Burton Jr., the inherited son of her deceased husband. During the trial, the romantic Kate falls in love for Jack, and sees the case in another perspective. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

lawyer | love | trial | law | cfnm | See All (12) »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


James Frain (Jack) & Natascha McElhone (Kate) also worked together in episode 3.12, Californication: Mia Culpa (2009), of Californication (2007) as Paul Rider & Karen respectively. See more »


Male Diner on Boat: If he is prepared to subject himself to total humiliation in front of all of us...
Female Diner on Boat: The least you can do is sleep with him
See more »


La Donna E Mobile
from "Rigoletto"
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
Performed by Mario Del Monaco and the Coro dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma and Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma
(collectively as Coro E Orchestra Dell'Accademia De Santa Ceceilia, Roma)
Conducted by Alberto Erede
Courtesy of The Decca Record Company Ltd
Licensed by kind permission of The PolyGram Commercial Marketing Division
See more »

User Reviews

Just plain bad
15 February 2014 | by geoff-367See all my reviews

Did I see the same film as these other people? The movie's title comes from an old lawyer joke (told in the film): scientists experiment on lawyers because there are some things rat's just won't do. One of those things was to agree to star in this flat romantic comedy.

As in many romcoms, the outcome is predictable from the very opening scenes. But getting there is, in this case, no fun at all. How can one like a film that suggests that a woman should sleep with a cad just because he's willing to embarrass himself a bit in public--especially when the embarrassment is a coldly calculated attempt to get her into bed? But that's not the worst of it. True, there are some funny moments, but all in all the movie is a bore. The lead characters are uninteresting and (except for Peter Capaldi) uncharismatic. Every major character in the film eventually establishes themselves as someone who is not to be trusted, if not a downright scumbag. And the number of (sadly predictable) plot coincidences must be some kind of record. You don't just have to suspend disbelief to see this movie, you have to throw it off the Burj Khalifa and then bury it in a fracking hole.

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Release Date:

1 July 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anwältinnen küßt man nicht See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Working Title Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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