Laws Of Attraction

Is Pierce Brosnan resistible to any woman?  Is there anything about him that ever screams "turn-off"?  Everyone’s personal preferences aside, is it at all believable that his physical presence and personality could provoke feelings of anger rather than lust?
 
In Laws Of Attraction, Brosnan plays a TV-friendly divorce lawyer who absolutely flusters colleague Julianne Moore.  Early on in the film, she’s representing the sex-addicted trophy wife of an infomercial tycoon and looks to be on the road to victory.  But Brosnan, a surprise substitute for the tycoon’s previous attorney, despite being asleep in the courtroom the first time they meet, totally deflates her confidence by offering evidence her client neglected to share with her.
 
Furious in her humbled state, the undefeated, junk food binging, Weather Channel addicted, defiantly single Moore is not only determined not to lose the case but to also remain permanently indifferent to her opponent’s charms.  It’s a foolhardy plan of stubborn oneupmanship that leads to one dumb mistake after another. 
 
From the moment they lay eyes on each other, you know how this dreadful romantic comedy will end.  Long before that predictable moment happens, however, Moore has to pretend for an hour that Brosnan is more worthy of being on the receiving end of her childish diatribes and antics than a possible romantic partner.  Her state of denial is so obvious even her hip, many-times-divorced mother (the lovely Frances Farmer) can see what she really feels.
 
Brosnan doesn’t buy her act, either, and goes out of his way time and time again to win her over.  But Moore is so impossible to deal with, always uptight and argumentative, one wonders why he even bothers.  As they find themselves battling it out in case after case, her formulaic stubbornness never fails to be unfunny.
 
Brosnan has a sly, soft-spoken charm about him that makes Moore’s wall of resistance completely preposterous.  He oozes confidence and decency but those qualities only fire up her competitive spirit and her deep insecurities.  Despite a remarkably unsexy and drunken one-night-stand early on, her well of sexuality is always empty. When the movie shifts to the heavenly vistas of Ireland, there’s a nighttime scene where Moore reveals she grew up feeling second best to her mother’s beauty.  It is a brief moment of vulnerability that the character could’ve uttered much sooner.  By this point, we’re so tired of her immaturity (she finished at the top of her Yale law class?) that not too long after it passes, we’re back to wondering why Brosnan is so tolerant of her.
 
Without question, this is Julianne Moore’s worst screen performance but, in truth, the real blame belongs to the film’s writers.  Despite a couple of laughs, the screenplay doesn’t possess the kind of sharp writing that would jolt this cinematic corpse to life.  The jokes they do offer are extremely weak.  It’s hard to imagine that Brosnan, one of the film’s ten executive producers, would not demand better material to work with here.  Furthermore, the lack of onscreen chemistry is so apparent immediately that by the time Moore has her unsurprising change of heart in the film’s third act, it’s sadly anticlimactic.
 
The film’s lameness can’t even be saved by the appearances of Nora Dunn (who plays a tough-talking divorced judge), Michael Sheen (as a dimwitted, uninspired rock star) and Parker Posey (the rock star’s pissed off missus who wants to divorce him).  Everybody deserved better than to be stuck in this forgettable mess.
 
The idea of a woman needing to be drunk in order to enjoy sex with Pierce Brosnan is pretty insulting.  Just ask my mom.  She’ll do him sober in five seconds.
 
Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
2:28 a.m.
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Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 2:29 am  Leave a Comment  

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