Movie Review 2007 #134: Laws of Attraction

To feed my crush on Julianne Moore, I decided to go with another romantic movie, this one about feuding divorce lawyers who inadvertently find themselves married. Pierce Brosnan plays Moore’s opposite number.

Julianne Moore plays Audrey Woods, the best divorce lawyer in New York. Poised, perfect and supremely confident, the daughter of a divorced mother who chases eternal youth, she is thrown off her game when new competition comes to town in the personage of unorthodox Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan). Dealt an unexpected loss by Rafferty’s tactics, and despite her protestations that she is not attracted to him, the two start up a love/hate relationship. That relationship ratchets up to a new level when they take opposite sides of a high profile divorce case between a fashion designer and a rock star, and together go to Ireland to deal with the one item that the two can’t live without.
And while there, the two divorce lawyers flirtation, banter, and drinking leads the two to get married…and the necessity of keeping up appearances…
The movie flopped at the box office, and it doesn’t quite work as well as it should. While it has appealing leads, and good performances from the minor characters (Parker Posey and Michael Sheen as the feuding divorce participants, particularly), I think the movie is misfiring a cylinder in a v8 engine. Sure, the movie runs, but it doesn’t work quite as well as it should or could. The movie is a romantic comedy from Woods POV. We learn much more about her than we do about Rafferty. The deleted scenes do help somewhat, but even with them, I don’t think its quite enough.
The movie is okay and inoffensive. It’s a disappointment that it doesn’t work better than it does. (It reminds me strongly of America’s Sweethearts in that regard, although its closer than AS to being a good movie).