Directed By: Joel and Ethan Coen
Written By: Several contributors including the Coen brothers
This movie came out during a time when I had recently discovered the Coen brothers and thought they were the greatest duo in the business. For that matter, I still think they are two of the greatest filmmakers out there but I do not think this was their best movie. I think it is a good movie that features so much of what makes them great. The elaborate set design, the witty dialogue, and the interesting characters that are always featured in their films are all in this one. The Coen brothers are also really great when it comes to casting their films. This movie, like many of their others, is driven by the powerful performances of the actors they chose to cast.
The main two stars of this film are Catherine Zeta-Jones and George Clooney. I have never been a fan of either really although I have enjoyed many of their movies. This movie was Zeta-Jone’s follow-up to her Academy Award winning role in Chicago. She showed an incredible amount of talent in Chicago so I cannot say she isn’t a good actress but I have always thought of her more as just a pretty face. She is a very beautiful woman but I always felt that was all that kept her in the movies because outside of Chicago I don’t think she has had a stellar career. She plays her part in this movie well but I don’t know that there is any honor to be had in playing this role well. She is a cruel and bloodsucking woman in this movie and this part is probably a big part of why I don’t care for her that much. Clooney is good in this movie as he is good in many movies but I just cannot stand the man. No matter what he does or how many good movies he makes I will never get over his horrible stint as Batman in one of the worst movies of all time, Batman & Robin. He destroyed the Batman franchise with that role, he should be ashamed of himself.
I think some of the other actors, even in the smallest of roles, manage to outshine the stars of the film a bit. I think Cedric the Entertainer was hilarious as Gus Petch and really thought this was the beginning of great things to come from him. I haven’t seen him in anything lately but I do think he is really funny. Geoffrey Rush is an amazing actor who is as talented as they come. I love the opening scene when he catches his wife having an affair. He has such a great accent that works well for both humor or evil and I like how it gives him diversity as an actor. I am a fan of Richard Jenkins and he is in many Coen brothers movies. I think he is really funny in this one playing the part of Freddie Bender. I don’t necessarily think Billy Bob Thorton did anything spectacular in his role but he was a hot commodity at the time this movie came out. I have never understood it but the guy was so popular. I guess a lot of it had to do with his relationship with Angelina Jolie, which was weird enough to keep everybody interested.
Watching this movie now I can see what it was that I liked about it ten years ago. It is clever and well made. Today I don’t really care for it quite as much because it is all about divorce. There is nothing funny about divorce and I specifically don’t like movies about it. This one mostly mocks the practice of money grubbing marriages though so I don’t know that it really qualifies the same way. These are loveless marriages all about sex and philandering and greed. It’s still divorce though and all these kinds of divorces do is sully something that is already dirty.
Despite that this is still a good movie and I think it is worth your time. It may not be the best Coen bros’ movie but it is still a Coen Bros movie and this means there is something to it. These guys are the best even when they aren’t at their best. It’s been ten years since this movie came out now and I think there is a good chance in another ten years it will be a movie nobody remembers. So check it out if you have a chance and let us know what you think.
I still love these guys, but this is by far my least favorite of the Coen Brothers movies. I love all of their films. They are witty and interesting tales. Like books made into incredible movies, except they wrote the books themselves and you can see every single detail that is their style throughout their films, much like a Tim Burton film. I just didn’t like the whole story. The movie was shot well and is interesting enough, but I didn’t really love the story of divorce lawyers and marrying for money. I figure that this story has already been told, and usually the Coens’ stories are so original.
This is a very clean poster. Nothing really special. You have the movie tagline, followed by an off center picture of them, and then the billing and title at the bottom. I love a nice sans serif font, so I don’t hate this poster, it is actually really nice, but I just don’t think that it is anything special.
NEXT MOVIE: I, Robot (2004)