• FILM

  • SEARCH FOR

Laws of Attraction

Laws of Attraction

Directed by Peter Howitt. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Parker Posey, Michael Sheen, Frances Fisher, Nora Dunn. (2004, PG-13, 90 min.)

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., April 30, 2004

Laws of Attraction: Cute title for a movie about married divorce lawyers arguing opposite sides of a case. And who could argue with casting of humanized Bond pinup Pierce Brosnan and consummate actor Julianne Moore? They look so good together. The only problem is that there's no attraction in Laws of Attraction. That's another way of saying "no chemistry." It's also a gentler way of saying that Laws of Attraction is no Adam's Rib, the courtroom classic starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as married but sparring attorneys. This script by Aline Brosh McKenna and Robert Harling has little of the wit and sparkle of Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin’s Adam’s Rib script, nor do its stars bicker and battle as believably as Hollywood’s legendary on and offscreen couple. The two legal eagles in Laws of Attraction are not helped by a script that renders the things unrealistically, both in terms of the characters’ development and the legal system. Moore’s Audrey Woods, who is one of New York City’s top divorce lawyers, utterly loses her professional decorum as the war between the sexes heats up. Brosnan’s Daniel Rafferty is a shell of a character, a raffish maverick in the courtroom but a smitten lover in the bedroom. The more sincere Daniel becomes, the more ditzy Audrey becomes. Then they’re sent by the judge on a totally improbable excursion to an Irish castle in order to depose incidental characters. And, of course, you know what a touch of the Irish does to Hollywood movies – it’s all picturesque blarney from that point on. The secondary characters all have fun with their parts: Fisher as the appearance-conscious and often married mother of Audrey, and Parker Posey and Michael Sheen as the divorcing couple (and owners of the Irish castle). Posey and Sheen appear to have a blast playing oversized characters so obnoxious that it’s obvious they belong together. Hardly a timeless romance, Laws of Attraction is likely to be dismissed by the ultimate judges.

READ MORE
More Peter Howitt Films
Johnny English
It’s perhaps not the best idea – at least on this side of the pond – to have soulful British ne’er-do-well-cum-pop-music-phenom Robbie Williams warble the ...

Marc Savlov, July 18, 2003

Antitrust
Antitrust has it all -- duplicitous schemers, killer sesame seeds, dead code poets societies, laughably bad CGI mansions -- and then some. The trouble is ...

Marc Savlov, Jan. 12, 2001

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
A Cure for Wellness
Gothic mystery is hard to swallow

Feb. 17, 2017

Fist Fight
A comedy that revels in low-hanging fruit

Feb. 17, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Laws of Attraction, Peter Howitt, Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Parker Posey, Michael Sheen, Frances Fisher, Nora Dunn

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
This content has not been formatted for this window size.
Please increase the size of your browser window, or revisit this page on a mobile device.
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)