In today’s film world, most comedies are directed towards the younger generation, and bank on the idea that their audience will appreciate silliness and cheap laughs.
Intolerable Cruelty is quite the exception. The latest release by oddball directors the Coen Brothers, stars George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones as two callous, devious people who somehow end up falling in love.
Clooney stars as Miles Massey, a brilliant divorce lawyer whose prenuptial is supposedly impossible to break. His profession attracts the services of Rex Rexroth, a man who needs Massey to protect his money after his ex-wife Marilyn (Zeta-Jones) sues him for cheating on her.
After winning the case, Massey is hired by Marilyn to write the pre-nup for her next marriage, which happens to be to a billionaire named Howard, played by Billy Bob Thornton.
The attraction between Massey and Marilyn is instant, and the film becomes a tangled web of moral conflicts that are both puzzling and intriguing. Massey can’t understand why Marilyn wants a pre-nup if she doesn’t plan on staying married anyway!
In this film, Catherine Zeta-Jones and George Clooney have undeniable chemistry that draws us into the movie. Of course, to go along with the romance, there is hilarious comedy as well.
The Coen Brothers manage to infuse the same kind of kooky, screwball humor that they have done so well in their previous films, most notably There’s Something About Mary.
But make no mistake, this is not the same humor your typical romantic comedy would feature. The film is intelligent in its creation and adult in its delivery.
Clooney proves himself once again, and Zeta-Jones gives a unique performance in Intolerable Cruelty.
This film is one of the most thoughtful and entertaining romantic comedies of the past few years.
Ross Bercik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org