It's ironic that guys considered to be among the greatest filmmakers of their generation produce movies with the emotional resonance of Cosmo. "Intolerable Cruelty" is just such a film. It contains despicable people doing despicable things and no effort whatsoever is made to deviate from a tone meant to resemble the sort of escapist fare one might associate with the 1930s. But hey, everyone looks really good doing it.
Is there anything wrong paying homage to those slapstick, witty banter comedies (be it the '30s, '40s or '50s -- fuck if I can remember; I wasn't fucking born yet) of yesteryear? I suppose not, if the members of your intended audience are so old that they wheel their IV drips into the theater. Note to the Coen brothers: There's are only a couple dozen people alive from that era you nostalgic freaks.
George Clooney plays Miles Massey, the best divorce attorney that ever was, a divorce attorney so good that his Massey pre-nuptial agreement has never been broken. Along comes Marilyn (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a woman so beautiful that Miles simply can't get ahold of himself. Oh sure, he screws her over in her divorce from Rex Rexroth (Edward Hermann), but her beauty blinds him to her scheme to get the next man who falls for her.
This is an entirely fluffy movie, much in the spirit of "The Hudsucker Proxy." Now, one clearly has to question the sanity of filmmakers who repeat the tone of their worst received movie. Nobody liked the carefree, nostalgic, childlike aura of "The Hudsucker Proxy." No one's going to like the same in "Intolerable Cruelty." The Coens have just repeated another failure.
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