Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Alfie (2004)

I have got to think that the original 1966 Alfie was better and more original than this version. Jude Law plays the title character, a British playboy using the island of Manhattan as his own personal playground. Charles Shyer's film documents Alfie in a quasi-documentary style following him throughout his relationships with many different women, all while he looks directly at the camera and narrates. First there is Dori (Jane Krakowski), a beautiful wife of a husband who doesn't appreciate her. Alfie gives her the sexual pleasure her husband has no interest in, but when she starts to fall for him he runs the other direction. Then there's Julie (Oscar winner Marisa Tomei). Julie is Alfie's "glorified booty call". A single mother, Alfie goes to her when the night is done and essentially uses her for a bed and food. Julie is really Alfie’s favorite, but he doesn’t realize it until it’s too late. There's the high class Liz (Oscar winner Susan Sarandon), who Alfie ultimately falls for but since she is the female version of him it is not to be. Then we have the beautiful but crazy Nikki (Sienna Miller) who seems to be a rip-off of Kate Winslet’s character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Nikki is so gorgeous that Alfie totally lets his guard down and becomes involved with her and she moves into his apartment. She’s so nuts though, that it really makes Alfie realize that T&A aren’t everything. Of course throughout the film you come to realize that Alfie really isn't happy in his playboy lifestyle. He is lonely, and really has no friends he hasn't alienated. This is of course what you have probably expected watching this film, because it has been done hundreds of times but with different actors and different characters. Alfie is so full of clichés that it’s ridiculous. The film has its moments of humor, and Jude Law gives a very decent performance, but the movie just isn't all that impressive. If all you want in a movie is a menagerie of beautiful women, then Alfie is for you but if you want an actual decent film then go elsewhere. Overall 2.0/4 Stars Grade = C

No comments: