Intolerable Cruelty wasn't great

ok, it was funny, and a good movie. But definitely the worst of the Cohen’s. (or so I claim).

Of course even the worst Cohen brothers movie is still pretty damn good.

You know, that’s exactly what I said the first time I saw The Big Lebowski. Now it’s arguably my favorite. One viewing is almost never enough to adequately evaluate a Cohen film.

If you tell me you took your nick from Miller’s Crossing, I’ll be your friend forever.

No, I took it from my job; I mill for a living. But Miller’s Crossing is still one of my favorite movies.

Good God why does everyone misspell their name?


I’ll be seeing it in less than 2 hours, so we’ll see… (but I’ve heard Miller’s observation echoed in some reviews).

What a disappointment. I expected sharp, sophisticated, adult comedy and it’s just unfunny, broadly played, poorly directed, slapstick silliness.

I thought it was terrific, and much better than the lame The Big Lebowski.

Not great? Okay, but was it tolerable?

It’s a whole lot better than tolerable, but it didn’t quite nail his ass. There are flashes of genius all throughout, but it’s inconsistent. For each clever detail, there’s some stock character or predictable situation. I have to wonder what it would’ve been like if the Coens had written the script from scratch, if it would’ve been better.

I liked it a lot, but didn’t think it was all that memorable, and don’t have much desire to see it again. Clooney is great in it; I think he’s really found his niche in screwball comedies. And Zeta-Jones is much better a comedic actress than she has a right to be, seeing as how she’s so hot and all. I was laughing throughout, I thought the climax was hilarious, and I loved the scenes with the elder partner at Massey’s law firm.

If I had to rank it, I’d put it above The Hudsucker Proxy, which I thought was just terrible, and The Man Who Wasn’t There, which was beautifully shot but tedious. But to me it just barely feels like a Coen Bros. movie.

I echo the previous comment. I actually dozed off for part of the film, which I didn’t do in The Man Who Wasn’t There.

It didn’t seem like a Coen brothers film. Except for Wheezy Joe.

I put it in 9th place among Coen films, ahead of only Hudsucker.

While Intolerable Cruelty did have its moments -

“Our best guess is a burglar entered the home, intending to loot it, but he repented, became despondent and shot himself.” - Freddy

  • it was more of a mainstream film and thus had plenty of Hollywood cliches and slapstick. But then, Raising Arizona (8th place) was a very slapstick film.

So I’m ambivalent. It did get a few cackles out of me, and I’m glad to see some new repeat offenders (Clooney, Thornton and Jenkins in their 2nd Coen roles), but really, it was only a good movie if you forgot it was a Coen Brothers film and knew what they were capable of. I kept thinking of good roles for other regulars - Jon Polito could have reprised his private eye role from Big Lebowski, since it was set in L.A. only a dozen years before this flick.

One thing that particularly annoyed me was the film’s being set in 2003 (I remember a line of someone saying “Five years ago, in 1998…”) instead of the not-too-distant past.

My guess is they’ll be back to form in no time. In any case, it was good to satisfy my Coen fix for this year. And I saw a preview for Bad Santa, starring Thornton, executive producers Joel and Ethan Coen, which looks to be much funnier than Intolerable Cruelty.

I don’t give a flying flip about the Coen brothers, so I didn’t bring any baggage to the movie.

Let’s get the small stuff out of the way. It does have clichés, and is a Hollywood film, and The Speech and what came after almost killed it dead.

The good part is that it is a wildly funny and expertly evoked Hollywood film. The actors were dead on, and buffed to the kind of gorgeous sheen you expect from a well-detailed car.

And I laughed out loud several times - I never laugh out loud. The courtroom scene was priceless. The little wordless bits in the background - let N.O.M.A.N. put asunder - were gags better than the best in any dozen other movies.

For one of the very few times in recent movie-making, the woman who is supposed to be The Most Beautiful Woman in the World actually looked like The Most Beautiful Woman in the World. Maybe now they will stop giving those parts to Julia Roberts or Nicole Kidman or Renée Zellweger or Sandra Bullock or any of the other funny-faced females that pass for stars in these troubled times and go back to making gorgeous women movie stars.

For what it was - not what some people might have expected it to be - it was very, very good. Not a truly great and original film like American Splendor but exactly the sort of thing you should want and expect from Hollywood and seldom ever get.

My wife and I thought it was hugely entertaining for essentially a disposable romantic comedy. In other words, the Coens have demonstrated their mastery of yet another genre. Romantic comedies are, by design, disposable, and this one was no different. All it was, really, was a hundred times better than your average romantic comedy.

The only reason people are knocking it, in my opinion, is that it’s a Coen Bros movie, which means it should last for the ages like Barton Fink or Miller’s Crossing. The romantic comedies that meet that standard can be counted on two hands (and they’re all directed by Hawks, Lubitsch, and the like). The Coens, I think, deliberately set out to make froth, and proved they can make froth as well as it’s possible to be made; but that doesn’t mean it isn’t froth.

Zeta-Jones, as described by others, is impossibly hot and remarkably talented for being so hot (for contrast, Jennifer Love Hewitt is hot, but she’s a terrible actor). But George Clooney surprised me yet again; he’s already demonstrated great verbal facility, but here he turns out to be an amazing physical comedian. Look at his body language when he’s got Zeta-Jones on the witness stand; all the little tics and pauses, the double-takes when he processes something she just said, had me in stitches.

I didn’t expect a masterpiece, and I had a riotous time.

Cedric the Entertainer sure was funny in it. And it was a funny, romantic, fun movie. It was a good time, and that’s not nothing.

But if you’re expecting O Brother Where Art Thou?, better set your sites a little lower.

I missed something when I saw it Friday. Who, exactly, shoots Weezy?

Favorite line: “Who needs to go home when you’ve got a colostemy bag?”

He did. While he was blinded from the Mace, he mistook the gun for his inhaler.

Okay thanks. That’s funny. Unlikely. But funny.

I liked it, but it didn’t really have the feel that the other Coen movies do, probably because there were two other writers and one other producer. Still, I set my sights pretty low: I hoped it would be better than The Hudsucker Proxy, and it was.

The best things about the movie were George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Either Ebert or Roeper said that he’d like to see more movies starring the pair, and I agree. They had chemistry and are both excellent actors and very good-looking.

I have a question about the N.O.M.A.N. speech: was it purposely patterned on Julius Caesar’s from the Shakespeare play? “Friends…I come not to…but to…” I could have just been reading too much into it though.

When the play opened on Geoffrey Rush, I thought there would be more of him in the movie, and I was disappointed when he was basically used as a plot device. There wasn’t enough Cedric the Entertainer, either.

I still liked it, but it’s something I’ll have to watch a few more times before I can give it a fair rating.

Favorite sight gag: “Objection!”
Favorite line: “You…fascinate me.”

I went expecting that it wouldn’t be wonderful but to get through the hour/40 entertained. After having seen it, I’d say it wasn’t wonderful but I got through the hour/40 entertained.

Yes, it was much better than the average Hollywood entry but I think it’s silly to suggest that just because they made a film that was better than an average Hollywood film they should therefore be let off the hook in the criticism department. “It wasn’t a great Coen Brothers film but it was a great film by other standards” is just silly because it is a Coen Brothers movie!

When you raise yourself to a level higher than that of your contemporaries you ought to be critiqued at that higher level.

Personally, I’d like to see them try something either VERY ambitious or something that would be a return to their roots. C’mon, guys, some of us have with great enthusiasm been supporting your efforts for almost twenty years now. Don’t go pussy on us!

Why the hell does everybody hate The Hudsucker Proxy so much? That’s one of their best ones. Far more entertaining than John Goodman sweating profusely in a wifebeater for three hours.