ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  peter howitt

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  romantic comedy

LENGTH  -  90 minutes

RELEASED  -  30 april 2004

DISTRIBUTOR  -  new line cinema

OFFICIAL SITE  -  laws of attraction

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $28,000,000
laws of attraction - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from laws of attraction at

buy the dvd from laws of attraction at

amidst a sea of litigation, two new york city divorce lawyers find love.

this film is an homage to romantic comedies of the 1940s and 1950s.


picture from laws of attraction

picture from laws of attraction

picture from laws of attraction

picture from laws of attraction


two out of four possible stars

Laws of Attraction is a film that's glibly entertaining yet ultimately forgettable once one exits the theater. If you're a fan of romantic comedy, the theatrical experience will be one to enjoy, but the film resembles a thousand other romantic comedies that have already seen themselves pushed into a crowded genre. One must accept the fact that it's nearly impossible to create something wholly new in the romantic comedy arena, and its a usually acknowledged fact that one must concentrate on the witty repartee of the cast and the romantic chemistry between the lead duo if one is to enjoy the film.

And most fans will be willing to brave the waters of predictability once they learn that Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan do indeed light up the screen together. The dialogue isn't the freshest to come along recently, but the enthusiastic delivery by all the characters involved lessens the feeling that one has seen this story more than once. There are truly no surprises in this film and the weight of the "entertainment factor" rests entirely on the shoulders of the cast. Nobody who watches this film will be watching it for the interesting plot twists.

If Moore and Brosnan hadn't hit it off on screen, it's certain this film would have tripped and fallen right after the opening credits. But the film comes out kicking and is swiftly plotted even before the opening credits are finished (the credits sequence on its own is quite creative). Running a more than tidy eighty-seven minutes, the film doesn't hang on too long, and because the momentum of the plot races along, it's not so easy to notice the less than fresh dialogue. If anything, the director and editor worked well together to make sure there was absolutely no lag time at any time in the movie.

The lead actors are also backed up by a rather impressive group of supporting performances, namely that of Francis Fisher, who plays Julianne's mother. In another strong female performance, Nora Dunn plays a judge who must play referee to Moore and Brosnan's verbal court antics. Parker Posey and Michael Sheen play a rock-star couple in the midst of a divorce and liven up the screen in their small roles. A host of minor actors playing various Irish villager roles also offer up earnest enthusiasm in the best sort of stereotypical small-town country-bumpkin type roles.

The appearance of Julianne Moore in the lead role of a romantic comedy is a welcome one as Hollywood has traditionally shunned romantic films starring actresses with more than forty years of life under their belt. But with 2003's Something's Gotta Give, the prospects for actresses entering mid-life seem to be improving. By neglecting actresses with some life experience, filmmakers have been shutting out a huge portion of movie-going women. And they've also forced actresses to move from the daughter role to the mother role in a matter of a few years.

Therefore it's ironic that Julianne Moore should star as Francis Fisher's daughter, when the latter actress was born but eight years before her "daughter." But though Fisher has been given the mother role, she is the lucky owner of some of the liveliest dialogue in the film. Though many of her entertaining lines were included in the trailer as more than the usual share of this film’s funniest moments is in the previews. Kind of like allowing the audience to see the meteor hit Earth in the trailer before the audience is in the theater, this film displays most of its promising material in the theatrical trailer.

Though finding some new material for cast might have improved the surprise factor, the fact that the film is so short, the time spent in Ireland seems too brief. A great many minutes need not have been added to the movie, though an additional short scene or two might have been welcome. Though perhaps it is a mark of successful filmmaking that the director and his crew would leave the audience wanting more of something a movie. Also, it was probably smart on the filmmakers' part that the did choose to edit the film to such a short length.

Laws Of Attraction probably won't win fans from outside the circle of romantic comedy fans, but it's a surprisingly beautiful film (the cinematography in Ireland is spectacular) and the musical score is as peppy as the performances. If the plot or story had veered into something truly surprising, the film might have branched out into additional demographic territory, but prior fans of the stars and or fans of romantic comedy will be this film's only entertained viewers. All other prospective moviegoers should wait for the video release.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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