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Laws of Attraction

I’m a big fan of the romantic comedy, and I always relish one that gets pulled off well. I love it even more when it involves actors I’m fond of.

Laws of Attraction manages both in an entertaining, though predictable, fashion. While not one of the stand out romantic comedies so far this year, it is still an entertaining example of the genre, and something I enjoyed, as a little fluff before bedtime. Director Peter Howitt (Sliding Doors, Johnny English) turns an interesting concept into something palatable and enjoyable, and not just because Pierce Brosnan is in it.

Julianne Moore plays Audrey Miller, a successful New York divorce lawyer who has pretty much lost interest in relationships. A surprise twist during her latest trial introduces her to Daniel Rafferty, played by a delightfully disheveled Pierce Brosnan, and a rivalry begins between the two, as the two best divorce lawyers in New York City. It finally culminates in a very high profile case between two famous clients, and Audrey and Daniel end up drunk, and married, in Ireland. Now, to save their reputations, they have to keep up the marriage. And it might not be as hard as they think it will be.

Laws of Attraction does follow the basic romantic comedy formula: girl is doing her thing, when she meets handsome guy (or vice versa, take your pick). Guy turns her life upside down, she ends up hating him, and/or they end up rivals, but something happens, they realize they love each other, one goes off trying to find the other, they find each other, happy ending. And while Attraction does follow the guide to a T, it makes itself more of a “moments” movie, with various small interactions and events making the movie worthwhile, without the sensation of the overall movie working.

Pierce Brosnan is his usual dashing self, though this time he does it with unkempt hair and wrinkled suit, a delightful change from his clean cut Bond look. Though pairing him with Julianne Moore seems an odd choice at first glance, they do have a certain chemistry together. Both have a proliferation of freckles that only make them a cuter couple. Their interactions, with Brosnan’s casual but direct Daniel and Moore’s slightly stressed sugar addict Audrey, are entertaining, both in the courtroom and in the bedroom, though they seem to fit together better as friends than as lovers

Audrey’s sugar cravings are also an entertaining factor of the movie, with a delightful panic scene involving hiding in a bathroom stall and cramming a whole Snoball into her mouth. She’s constantly munching during the movie, and trying to hide it from her mother. I wonder that Moore didn’t gain 10 pounds from all the sweets she consumed in the movie, but she remains her beautiful self the whole time.

Many of my favorite scenes involve Audrey’s mother, played wonderfully by Frances Fisher. Her casual talk of the cosmetic surgeries she’s had , and devout dislike of Audrey calling her “Mother” in public is just fun to watch. Her reasons for relationships are entertaining, and while she doesn’t steal scenes from the real stars, she does stand out as being an adorably quiky personality. Michael Sheen and Parker Posey also give outrageous performances as a rock star and his fashion designer wife, the high profile couple wanting a major divorce. They are completely over the top, and a whole lot of fun.

I don’t predict that Laws of Attraction will be a smash hit of the genre, but overall it’s not bad for a date movie.


Erin Frost

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