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 puts the four leading characters in a box and strips them apart.Written by
When Anna first begins photographing Alice, she is using a Leica 35mm range-finder camera with a manual film advance. However, when Anna takes the last few photographs of Alice weeping, the shots are rapid fire and you hear the sound of an automatic film advance. 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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