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</script></div>{/googleAds}Julianne Moore stars opposite Pierce Brosnan in what initially looks like a smart and sexy little romantic comedy with its hands wrapped around the apron strings of some of the most memorable romantic comedies of the '40s and '50s. But as Laws of Attraction unfolds, it becomes clear that to make such a correlation is to sully the memories and accomplishments of Katherine Hepburn herself. As a big fan of Julianne Moore, it deeply disappoints me to see her come up empty in her first starring role in a big-budget romantic comedy. If it turns out that comedy is truly not her bag, I'll still forgive her and you'll find me in line at the opening of her next drama.

Moore is Audrey Woods, a brash, high profile divorce lawyer who has yet to lose a case. Her steely workplace facade is contrasted by the weaknesses we see when she is outside the courtroom. She lives with her mother, has a weakness for junk food and claims she doesn't have time for a relationship. Her courtroom confidence is put to the test when the wealthy husband of her most recent client hires Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan), a slovenly, cocksure divorce attorney from out-of-town who not only turns out to be a formidable opponent, but also manages to winnow his way into her heart.

The theme of the story is the question of whether two divorce attorneys can avoid the same personal problems that bring clients into the need of their services. As profound as that seems, the film's intelligence can only be found in its desires, not in its actions. Too many inadequacies keep us from ever caring about whether Audrey and Daniel can work through their problems. Any chemistry between Moore and Brosnan is stripped away by the repulsive traits of their characters. Rather than rooting for them to stay together, I found myself wanting to keep them apart to save them from each other's repugnancies. Every time Daniel displays any warmth or caring for Audrey, the moment is suddenly lost by another act of questionable moral turpitude. Audrey is too caught up in being a distinguished attorney to be human. She's more interested in sparring with Daniel than with letting herself feel any emotion. This message of a woman struggling to balance career with personal life is far too obvious to be clever. The running bit of Audrey's mother (Frances Fisher) dabbling in her love life grows old in the film's first 30-minutes yet we are subjected to it throughout the film.

It pains me to say that the film's attempts to live up to the "comedy" portion of its classification as "romantic comedy" fail mainly due to Moore's shortcomings in the art of comedic acting. Her timing misfires all over the place and she often appears to be doing something that just doesn't come naturally. It often seems as if she is rehearsing her lines. Like she is trying too hard to coordinate her delivery with her action. It doesn't help matters that the comedic material is flat-out not funny. The jokes rarely garner any laughs, but when the audience does laugh it is at inappropriate moments.

In addition to its acting blemishes, Laws of Attraction is plagued by other imperfections as well. The script rambles all over the road, never allowing the narrative to get into a natural flow. One moment we're involved in the court case that initially brought Audrey and Daniel together, the next we're in Daniel's filthy apartment in the middle of Chinatown. Suddenly we surface in the foggy moors of Scotland, as we enter a spectacular Scottish castle where we get the gross-out from two despicably loathsome characters played by Parker Posey and Michael Sheen. Up to three writers are credited with having had a hand in the script in one way or another. And it shows. A script-by-committee fails more often than it succeeds, but unfortunately, this one can't be saved by the performance of the leading pair.


DVD

DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen 2.35:1; Full Screen 1.33:1.

Subtitles: English; Spanish; Closed Captioned.

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1.

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; trailer; deleted scenes; closed captioned.

* Deleted Scenes: Several scenes that didn't make the final cut as well as an alternate ending.
* Trailers: The original theatrical trailer of Laws of Attraction plus a teaser trailer.
* More from New Line: Trailers for additional New Line films, The Notebook, Unconditional Love and Elf.

Number of discs: 1

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