6.4/10
2,306
43 user 24 critic

Love the Hard Way (2001)

The story of a petty thief who meets an innocent young woman and brings her into his world of crime while she teaches him the lessons of enjoying life and being loved.

Director:

Peter Sehr

Writers:

Shuo Wang (novel) (as Wang Shuo), Peter Sehr (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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ON DISC
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrien Brody ... Jack Grace
Charlotte Ayanna ... Claire Harrison
Jon Seda ... Charlie
August Diehl ... Jeff
Pam Grier ... Det. Linda Fox
Liza Jessie Peterson Liza Jessie Peterson ... Pam
Elizabeth Regen ... Sue
Katherine Moennig ... Debbie
Joey Kern ... Fitzgerald
Jonathan Hadary ... Boris
Michael G. Chin Michael G. Chin ... Asian Businessman #1
Ben Wang Ben Wang ... Asian Businessman #2
Huan Wang Huan Wang ... Asian Businessman #3
Ned Stresen-Reuter Ned Stresen-Reuter ... Brian
Michaela Conlin ... Cara, Jack's Lover
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Storyline

The story of a petty thief who meets an innocent young woman and brings her into his world of crime while she teaches him the lessons of enjoying life and being loved.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Crime | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language and violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English | Spanish | German | French | Russian

Release Date:

27 March 2003 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Amar al límite See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,721, 8 June 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$43,571, 13 July 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Claire: So what do you like? Besides smoking?
Jack: What do I like? Boxer who can hook off the jab. Oysters, Rockafeller. Rugrats. Anything that gives me a kick.
Claire: And you make a living out of that?
Jack: Uh huh, Not bad. Some nights I go out with Charlie and I rip off forigen business men. You should turn me into the police, you'd be doing the world a favor.
Claire: Its too late. Someone already did. I'm an undercover agent for the RICO squad.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Current prints available have two on-screen copyright statements: 2001 listing the 2 copyright owners and "2003 final cut." The initial showings at various film festivals in 2001 and 2002 were obviously different than the final 2003 theatrical released version. See more »


Soundtracks

Moon Crush (Club Mix)
Performed by Me and the Other Guy
Produced by Didi Gutman and Rahj
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A bit more than a footnote to The Pianist, but only just
29 November 2003 | by Chris KnippSee all my reviews

It's fun to watch the now famous Adrien Brody interact with the warm and pretty Charlotte Ayanna, the great Jon Seda of Homicide, and that Tarantino-revived 70's icon Pam Grier. Love the Hard Way has a more than decent cast that works well together: Brody has good chemistry with both Ayanna and Seda, and the New York of the movie has good chemistry too: it's real and beautiful without being obtrusive. The German director and the French cinematographer may be why the town has such a fresh look in this movie.

The clothes, however, are obtrusively bad -- it's lucky Brody has a model's body and Seda is hunky, or those duds would make us laugh them off the screen.

The German director's adaptation of a Chinese novel translated to New York may be a bit secondhand. Nonetheless it's not uninteresting to have a pimp/extortionist who's also a budding writer: the film and the actor are intelligent enough to make us entertain the possibility of the two people in one body.

But despite various points of interest, none of it quite works.

I wasn't convinced that any of this stuff was real--the emotional collapse of the petty criminal, the descent into prostitution of the brilliant med student, or their miraculous coming together two years later after prison and a botched suicide.

The trouble with the attempt to establish a hard-edged milieu is that what Brody and Seda's characters are doing doesn't seem ugly enough: the bedroom scams are too pat, and too independent of the outside big city world of crime. The big bachelor pad isn't mean and sleazy enough either; nothing is: I can't quite believe in Brody as a bad guy. The early scenes where Brody and Ayanna are wooing each other start him off not looking hard at all; in fact he just seems like a nice cocky young Jewish boy who's full of himself and bursting with joie de vivre. He could easily be a college student just playing tough and low-life to seem sexy to a studious, well brought up girl. His pimp clothes and pimp manner don't fit him right and just seem put on to strike a pose.

You keep watching your DVD for the acting job Brody, Ayalla and Seda do. As in 21 Grams, they manage to produce many powerful emotional moments even if it doesn't all meld together into a story. The incoherence is signaled by the confused ending. This is a bit more than merely an obscure footnote to The Pianist, but only just.


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