Release Year: 2003
Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)
Writers: Ethan Coen (screenplay), Joel Coen (screenplay), Robert Ramsey (screenplay & story), Matthew Stone (screenplay & story), John Romano (story)
Starring: George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Geoffrey Rush, Cedric the Entertainer, Edward Herrmann, Paul Adelstein, Richard Jenkins, Billy Bob Thornton, Julia Duffy, Jonathan Hadary, Tom Aldredge, Stacey Travis, Jack Kyle
Marylin (Catherine Zeta-Jones) a beautiful and shrewd golddigger matches wits with equally shrewd famous divorce laywer Miles (George Clooney) who finds himself increasingly attracked to her over the course of her divorce proceedings.
Early on in their career the Coens brothers demonstrated a knack for doing very serious films, straight out comedies, and something in-between. However, Intolerable Cruelty was their first mainstream romantic comedy and the result is wonderful. From beginning to end the film is marked by sharp writing and in what feels like a fresh take a common enough storyline. The film is for the most part well-casted, especially the two lead characters. Zeta-Jones (Chicago, 2002) is wonderful as the gorgeous “femme fatale”, who has made a career out of marrying rich men and divorcing them. Clooney (The Monuments Men, 2014) is excellent as the charming and talented laywer Miles, who is known for his unbreakable marriage pre-nups, and gets plenty of opportunities to showcase his great comedic timing. The film is surprisingly funny, thanks to Clooney as well as some more absurd minor characters, of which the late Herrmann (The Lost Boys, 1987) is paritcularly funny as Marilyn’s latest soon-to-be ex-husband. Funny and charming this is a rom-com which will satisfy both fans of the genre and fans of the Coens.
Billy Bob Thornton’s character speaks very quikly in this film because his character speaks very slowly in The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001). The same thing was done with Steve Buscemi; his character speaks very slowly in Fargo (1996) and very quickly in The Big Lebowski (1998).
Picture Copyright: UIP