Finding it hard to settle down and commit himself to only one woman, the unrepentant philanderer and undeniable ladies' man, Alfie, is a charming British bachelor who cruises the streets of New York as a limousine chauffeur. In his impeccable suits, the silver-tongued Casanova is simply irresistible; however, things will take a turn for the unexpected, when a night of unrestrained passion seriously tests Alfie's frivolous approach to life. In the end, is Alfie happy, and, above all, what's it all about, then?Written by
According to director Charles Shyer, in the shot where Alfie (Jude Law) punches a car windshield, Law actually cracked the windshield. Apparently, the actor wasn't able to put as much effort into punching it until Shyer told him to imagine that it was the paparazzi. As a result, Law punched so hard that a sledgehammer had to destroy the cracked windshield. See more »
During the scene at the florist's shop (supposedly in downtown Manhattan but filmed in Liverpool), there is a shot looking into the shop from outside. A couple of small Regency-style terraced houses, clearly inappropriate for the film's setting, can be seen reflected in the window. See more »
You're lucky you know. I rarely allow anyone into my flat.
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The Paramount logo at the beginning of the film is tinted pink. See more »
Just in case you don't remember, Alfie's that misogynistic cad who seduced a series of women. He was originally played by Michael Caine in more carefree times (1966, to be precise).
What we have here is a politically correct remake for the new millennium. Cries of horror abound. Especially from me. Why replace Michael Caine, one of the kings of cool in the 1960's, with Jude Law? After all, we all remember what happened when Mark Wahlberg stepped into Caine's shoes for the remake of The Italian Job. Yet, incredibly, Law has turned out to be a very good choice.
Like Caine before him, Law repeatedly breaks the fourth wall throughout the film. Certain critics have argued against this technique, but I think that when applied properly, and with the right actor, it can seriously work in the film's favour. It did so for John Cusack in High Fidelity, and does so for Jude Law in the Alfie remake. Law adds a further dimension to the flawed title character, somehow making you like him in spite of what he is. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he is surrounded by a fine supporting cast, which includes Marisa Tomei, Susan Sarandon and his real-life girlfriend Sienna Miller.
One notable thing Alfie does, in general, is refuse to paint its women in shining colours. Some refuse to bow down to the title character's needs, but others are all-too-easily seduced. Yet they are never too forgiving. I think Marisa Tomei's Julie is the only one of the women in the film who is really shown in a remotely positive light. The others appear too needy, too repressed or too cocky. Allowing the women to appear this way sometimes works against the film, but it does mean that they come off as more rounded characters, and not just pretty ciphers.
I found this version of Alfie to be lightly entertaining. It's hardly new or original - I mean, it's nothing more than an already well-known story retold pretty well - but it is easy to watch. And, just like Alfie himself, it never looks for the easy way out. Whether you want to despise the title character's antics or simply enjoy watching them is entirely up to you. Personally, I'd suggest you choose the latter option.
Rating: *** (out of *****)
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