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Laws of Attraction (2004)

Love always has the last word

Directed by:

Peter Howitt

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 87 minutes

UK Certificate: 12a

Country: United States

Peter Howitt, the Mancunian director behind ‘Johnny English’, gets another insipid comedy under his belt with this excruciatingly bland romantic vehicle for a non-Bond Pierce Brosnan and comically-challenged Julianne Moore. It’s a match made in lukewarm dishwater if ever there was one.

The dreary pair play squabbling divorce lawyers who, having spent case after case pitting their limited wit against one another, do the predictable thing and fall in love. Of course, this being the rom-com by numbers it is, there’s a set-back three-quarters of the way through, and one of them has to resolve this problem by running somewhere to reach the other one and make-up. You could literally sleep through the entire middle hour and still be able to guess exactly what’s about to happen upon waking up.

I’d probably say it’s the most shamelessly formulaic romantic comedy I’ve ever seen, if it wasn’t for the fact that it misses out one of the most crucial components of the genre – comedy. The only time I laughed was when imagining in my own head that both stars were middle-ranking lower division footballers and could therefore pull off the nicknames “Brozzers” and “Moorey”. And, as you’ve all just realised, that’s not even funny.

Quite simply, ‘Laws of Attraction’ is stultifyingly dull. Moore, possibly the most over-rated actress of her generation, has not the slightest aptitude for comedy (yet for some reason the Oscars will scandalously continue to prefer her films to Bill Murray’s), whilst Brosnan’s peculiar interpretation of the word “charm” involves half-closing one eye and undoing his top button.

Passing this sort of dross off as entertainment is frankly insulting – show exactly what you think of such unimaginative plopsy by making sure you don’t pay to see it under any circumstances.

It's Got: Michael Sheen pretending to be Keith Richards – but Johnny Depp’s already done that one.

It Needs: Not to be confused with The Rules of Attraction, that similarly woeful pile of pony from last year starring the shovel-faced lead from ‘Dawson’s Creek’ and that bird with the unpronounceable name from the ‘Gap’ adverts.

Alternatives:

Adam's Rib, Down With Love, Intolerable Cruelty, Intolerable Cruelty, Something's Gotta Give

Summary

The Belgium of comedies – not so much dislikeable as just plain boring.

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