Rent Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

3.0 of 5 from 153 ratings
1h 35min
Rent Intolerable Cruelty Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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  • Available formats
Synopsis:
Top divorce attorney Miles Massey (George Clooney) has got it all. Serial gold-digger Marilyn Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones) wants it all. A hilarious battle of deceit and cunning ensues when Miles falls for Marilyn, with each one trying to outsmart the other. Underhand tactics, deceptions and an undeniable attraction escalate as Marilyn and Miles square off in this classic battle of the sexes.
Actors:
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Directors:
,
Producers:
Ethan Coen, Brian Grazer, Joel Coen
Writers:
Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone
Studio:
Universal Pictures
Genres:
Comedy, Romance
BBFC:
Release Date:
23/02/2004
Run Time:
95 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • A Look Inside Intolerable Cruelty
  • Outtakes
  • The Wardrobe
BBFC:
Release Date:
24/01/2011
Run Time:
100 minutes
Languages:
English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Subtitles:
Brazilian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B

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Reviews (1) of Intolerable Cruelty

Vultures In Love - Intolerable Cruelty review by Count Otto Black

Spoiler Alert
16/03/2016

Although I'm usually a big fan of the Coen brothers, I missed this when it first came out because it seemed to fall off the radar almost immediately. Maybe that was because it's a rare dud from the usually reliable Joel & Ethan.

Part of the problem is that the tone is too light. The main characters - a successful divorce lawyer and a serial gold-digger - are rich, good-looking, thoroughly spoilt, and altogether appallingly selfish. Who cares what happens to people like that, unless it's horrible? Alas, from a very early stage it becomes apparent that, by an amazing coincidence, the two characters who are far and away the best-looking, as well as being played by the biggest stars, will eventually find true love with each other, and we're supposed to cheer because love is the one thing they don't smugly have far too much of already.

What they really deserve is a zombie apocalypse, but sadly there isn't one. The tone does get ever so slightly darker and nastier for a while towards the end, but it's much too little, much too late. George Clooney certainly has immense charisma, but expecting him to single-handedly carry the entire film with nothing but his winning personality doesn't work any better here than it did that time he was Batman. As for Catherine Zeta-Jones in what's actually quite a small rĂ´le, she's the human equivalent of one of those spiders that eat their mates, and we're supposed to like her just because she's beautiful.

The Coens have shown repeatedly that they can do comedy, they can do nasty selfish people inflicting complicated unpleasantness on each other, and sometimes they can do both at once, but this time round, nothing quite works. The humor is mostly leaden. One minor character is screamingly camp for no reason other than to distract our attention from the dullness of the rest of the scene. George Clooney and his sidekick have an incredibly contrived conversation about the Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay which I think we're supposed to laugh at because "Tenzing Norgay" is a wacky name if you're not a Sherpa. And of course there's the peculiarly pointless way the music of Simon and Garfunkel constantly pops up, as if any recurring motif qualifies as a running gag whether it's funny or not.

If the Coens had gone all the way and turned this film into the pitch-black comedy about two utterly despicable people who thoroughly deserve each other which it occasionally seems to want to be, it might have been up there with their best. As it is, it feels as though the studio ordered them to tone it down so that it could be marketed as a feel-good rom-com, and all the best bits ended up in the waste paper basket. By the way, at no point does any "intolerable cruelty" in the legal sense actually occur. Maybe it was an appropriate title for the first draft, and they simply forgot to change it?

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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