Intolerable Cruelty

From the Chicago Reader (October 1, 2007). — J.R.


If you were delighted by the euphoric cynicism about corruption in L.A. Confidential and Chicago (I wasn’t), you probably should make a beeline for Joel and Ethan Coen’s brittle farce about corruption in divorce proceedings, in which hotshot lawyer George Clooney and professional divorcee Catherine Zeta-Jones are too busy screwing each other in the courts to show much interest in actual sex. Buffing up a script they’d worked on eight years earlier with Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone, and John Romano, the Coens do an efficient job of stamping their signature grotesquerie on sumptuous Beverly Hills and Las Vegas settings and ladling on gallows humor and malice, sometimes with the verve of early Robert Zemeckis. Geoffrey Rush, Cedric the Entertainer, Billy Bob Thornton, Edward Herrmann, and Richard Jenkins round out the gallery of cartoon fools. PG-13, 100 min. (JR)


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