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Love and money have long been blamed as catalysts by which the most level-headed and composed individuals can suddenly turn into foolish and distraught lunatics.
Both of these factors make their way into the lives of Miles Massey (George Clooney) and Marylin Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who battle it out in their new romantic comedy, ‘Intolerable Cruelty.’
‘Intolerable Cruelty’ may seem like a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy where boy meets girl and they accidently fall in love, but the movie’s plot is its reliability on comedy and the collection of powerhouse actors which makes this movie a far cry from anything ordinary. It is the film’s originality that makes it refreshing and makes it not only a story about love, but a worthwhile comedy.
Stretching his acting abilities past drama and into comedy with an amusing and impressive result, George Clooney demonstrates a wide range of skills with a character that is both debonair and childish. While audiences are used to seeing Clooney in the drama-filled situations of E.R., he transforms himself into any other man in love who stumbles across the screen trying to impress a pretty girl.
Clooney, who plays a suave, successful and cold-hearted divorce lawyer who messes with the wrong woman when he fumbles Zeta-Jones’ plans to milk money from her cheating husband by exposing her hidden agenda in court.
Zeta-Jones in turn vows to seek her revenge against Clooney by making him fall in love with her as the plot twists and thickens into a clash between a man in love and a woman holding him in the palm of her hand.
The love-hate relationship between Zeta-Jones’ and Clooney’s characters make for a magnetism that only adds to the scripted chemistry between the two and creates a battle of the sexes that consumes the screen and gives the rest of the movie a power and energy that only the two leading characters can provide.
Clooney’s unrelentless response to the tug and pull of the leash held by Zeta-Jones’ character only enhances the bold and explosive chemistry that the two characters display in their roles.
Zeta-Jones’ character of a calculating gold digger only exemplifies her own statuesque quality and ability to make the screen her own. She created an inward magnetism that gave her character an even greater look of control and conniving strength.
She truly embodies a woman who can take control of both the screen and a room with her ability to capture attention, hold it within her grasp and keep it clutched tightly in her hand as she confidently walks across the screen.
In accordance to the bold and brazen story of love and deceit, the film’s lighting and cinematography is enhanced by its bold colors and glamorus bright lighting.
Other than the film’s aesthetic and powerful allure, the storyline’s consistency in creating surprises and unexpected twists help differentiate the movie from other romantic comedies.
Although the numerous twists made the film seem like there was never going to be a definitive ending in sight, the fact that the ending did not seem obvious gave the movie an unpredictable quality. This is especially seen towards the end when everything starts to come together and the plot’s twists start to make sense and culminate into one big bang of an ending.
What seems like a simple storyline of love and revenge gradually becomes more and more complicated as the movie went on. Each additional new moment built upon the next until the plot becomes so impacted with surprises that it is nothing less than hilarious. However, it is this continual addition of unanticipated twists and comedic results that keeps the story on its toes and keeps the plot from falling into the trenches of predictability.
While some romantic comedies stress the romantic and heartfelt relationship of the main characters over the comedic mishaps, ‘Intolerable Cruelty’ stressed the comedic side of love and the ups and downs of life with hilarious results.
The film was nowhere short of adult humor, as it was filled with situations that many adults have experienced before. For example, there are jokes regarding walking in on your wife cheating on you with the pool boy.
Alongside this adult humor was Clooney’s whimsical facial expressions and Zeta-Jones’ commanding tease to add to the comedic magnitude of the film.
Part of the movie’s allure is the way in which it took some of love’s biggest mishaps and relentlessly poked fun at them. Things like loveless marriages with ironclad prenuptial agreements, malicious intents and the thrill of the chase were just a few examples of the kind of damage love did to the film’s characters.
Set against the glitz and glamour of Beverly Hills, the film satirizes the life of the rich and the famous by exposing their hidden agendas and deceitful lifestyles. The clash between having it all financially and having nothing romantically is another reason the film creates such a boisterously entertaining story.
In addition to tickling the stomachs with laughter, ‘Intolerable Cruelty’ not only entertains but brings up aspects of life that many adults can relate to on a more serious and everyday basis.
Things ranging from being bored with the everyday nuances of a routine life to growing old and gray without ever being happy.
With both the comedic and dramatic aspects of love intertwined within the movie, Clooney and Zeta-Jones skillfully deliver characters that can be easily hated and yet seem intensely vulnerable to the harsh realities of love.
Also starring in the film are Cedric the Entertainer and Billy Bob Thornton, who cast onto the movie an even more playful display of the things that can happen when love and marriage come together.
‘Intolerable Cruelty’ opens in theaters on Oct. 10.

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