Compiled by: Jack Foley
AS EVER, the Coens have done it again, with their dark trip into
romantic comedy territory being hailed as another virtual masterpiece
by critics in America.
The film finds George Clooney as a successful divorce lawyer,
who finds himself falling for the vampish charms of Catherine
Zeta-Jones money-fixated serial-bride, and the battle of
wits that ensues between the two.
Village Voice leads the tributes, by stating that to
see Clooney tenderize, season, grill, and serve this ham hock
of a role is to see an old-fashioned virtuoso in perpetual motion,
while Variety described it as a thoroughly entertaining
comedy about love, lawyers and fat divorce settlements.
The Los Angeles Daily News, meanwhile, stated that the
film is 'further proof that the Coens can take any genre - in
this case, a star-driven screwball comedy - and make it work without
sacrificing their unique sensibility in the process'.
And ReelViews declared that 'rarely has strife between
the sexes been so ruthless, so civilized, and so funny'.
The Washington Post opined that it is 'smart, silly, splenetic
and a bit smug, it's a movie that might put a viewer's teeth on
edge were it not for its winning lead performances'.
While the Globe and Mail declared that 'if Intolerable
Cruelty establishes one thing, it's that George Clooney is the
closest thing that contemporary Hollywood has to an old-fashioned
Entertainment Weeklys reviewer, however, sounded
one of the few negative notices, by stating that I cannot
detect a heartbeat of feeling, no matter how close I press a stethoscope
against the star machinery of George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
As did the Hollywood Reporter, which felt that it is a
broad farce that is long on manic, cartoonish behaviour and short
on intelligence and wit.
The Chicago Sun-Times, meanwhile, felt that 'Joel and
Ethan are bounteously gifted filmmakers, but sometimes you just
want them to lay off the irony and climb down here with the groundlings'.
But the reviews were mainly positive, with the Detroit Free
Press hilariously declaring that 'Clooney and Zeta-Jones make
for a glamorous couple, and there is enough chemistry between
them that you might find yourself wondering if Michael Douglas
has a Miles Massey prenup'.
The New York Post, meanwhile, declared that it 'harks
back to the screwball comedies of Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges
- and owes much of its pizzazz to the spark-plug pairing of George
Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones'.
The Boston Globe stated that 'it's determined to keep
Clooney's considerable comedic skills front and center. He's never
been looser, sexier, or more antic'.
While USA Today felt that it is 'not brilliantly funny
nor incisively clever, Intolerable Cruelty is still moderately
satirical and laugh-out-loud enjoyable'.
The final word, however, goes to Rolling Stone, which
concluded that 'Clooney is definitely the man of these two hours.
His portrait of a shark in love is a model of classy comic acting'.