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Intolerable Cruelty (Widescreen)

George Clooney , Catherine Zeta-Jones , Ethan Coen , Joel Coen    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 9.99
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L’un produit, l’autre réalise, mais les deux frères Coen scénarisent ensemble depuis 1984. Abordant avec un talent réellement original quelques-uns des genres emblématiques du cinéma américain (policier, comédie musicale.…), ils se laissent glisser non sans humour sur les rives de la comédie romantique avec Intolerable Cruelty.

Miles Massey (George Clooney) est l’avocat le plus efficace qui soit en matière de divorce. Intelligent, charismatique et drôle, il est la séduction même. Marylin Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones), quant à elle, a presque fait du divorce sa profession. Belle, vénéneuse et féline, elle est la manipulation incarnée. Évidemment, leur rencontre, dans un grand jeu à qui arnaquera l’autre, fera des étincelles.

Dès le prologue et le générique, les frères Coen nous rassurent : leur ironie et leur humour second degré ne se sont pas dilués dans les codes du genre romantique. Au contraire. Personnages décalés, mise en scène à la limite du burlesque et verve des dialogues servent le film sans jamais le transformer en parodie. Car les Coen respectent le genre, sans aucun doute. En veulent pour preuves, la réalisation lumineuse et élégante, le charme de Clooney (dont les capacités d’autodérision le rendent encore plus irrésistible) et la sophistication de Zeta-Jones. Inattendu, subtil et dynamique, Intolerable Cruelty rend un bien bel hommage à l’amour. Des prises supplémentaires surprenantes, un making of et un documentaire sur les costumes complètent agréablement le DVD. – Helen Faradji.

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Clooney/Zeta-Jones/Rush/Thornton ~ Intolerable Cruelty

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Is Diner Food Really That Bad? July 11 2004
By Maeri
Miles Massey (George Clooney) is a ruthless divorce lawyer and Marilyn Rexroth (Catherine Zeta Jones) is an equally ruthless gold-digging wife in this Coen Brothers take on the screwball comedy genre. The film takes place in a slick, shiny and heartless Los Angeles-it's a place with no sympathy for losers. In the old thirties' comedies, there was always an element of humorous class confrontation (and sympathy for losers) that gave the films an edge-there's not enough of it here. If we knew a little bit why Miles and Marilyn were so driven (Miles seems to have a father problem, but we never really learn anything about Marilyn) it could put their behavior into perspective.
The inclusion of an African-American detective is interesting-but he's of so little value to Miles that Miles meets him for lunch in a dingy diner instead of one of the glossier restaurants we see in the film. In the screwball genre, this should be the scene where we see the better, decent side of Miles; we should see that he's a man of the people. But in this film the diner, usually a place of populist wisdom, (and a handy cinematic counterpoint to the empty values of the wealthy characters), is dismissed and ridiculed. It's too bad, because the dowdy patrons of the diner are also surrogates for the ordinary people in the audience. If Miles had met the detective in an upscale restaurant (and taken Marilyn to the diner), that would have told us something about his inborn decency despite his privileged background-then we would have really been on his side. And if we'd been given an inkling of why Marilyn is so money-hungry, we might have more sympathy for her. This film lacks the underlying empathy for ordinary people that the great comedies had beneath their slick facades. This empathy is in the other Coen Brothers films, so it's disappointing not to see it here.
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2.0 out of 5 stars INTOLERABLE IS THE OPERATIVE WORD... May 30 2004
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
I confess to being a big fan of the Coen brothers, which is why I was surprised at my response to this film. With a cast to die for, it has all the makings of a terrific film. Unfortunately, that is about as far as it gets, as the cast cannot undo what has been done by a screenplay that is seriously flawed, due to its inability to decide what type of film it should be. Unfortunately, it looks as if the director could not make up his mind either, producing a film that is neither fish nor fowl.
At first, I thought that it would be a screwball type of comedy, with George Clooney in the role that would have gone to Cary Grant in the golden age of filmmaking. Then, it seems to take another direction altogether, as if it were supposed to be a romantic comedy with a dark side or simply satire gone awry. Who knows? The Coen brothers surely don't. The film lacks a total surety of identity that kills it, despite the stellar cast. It is a flop, pure and simple.
The plot line is a fairly basic one. It is about a slick, greedy and grasping, unscrupulous matrimonial attorney (George Clooney), the kind that gives all lawyers a bad name, and a greedy and grasping gold digging beauty (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who gives all beautiful women a bad name. Their paths cross, and the chase is on. Unfortunately, the viewer does not give a rat's behind about either one of them. There is nothing that would ingratiate them to the viewer, due to the two dimensional, leaden screenplay to nowhere in which laughs are few and far between.
If you are a die hard Coen brothers fan, as I am, do yourself a favor and, rather than buy this film, rent it first. You will thank me for this advice, once you have seen this film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Love amongst the sharks May 24 2004
I think the actors do a wonderful job with the materials they are given. George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, et al give their roles energy and sparkle. The story line is like watching a ball of snakes all trying to eat each other and mate at the same time. Except that these snakes are all obsessed with cosmetic surgery.
Miles Massey (Clooney) is a supremely successful divorce attorney who wins impossible settlements for his clients while crushing the other side without regard to facts, truth, or even ethics. Marylin (Zeta-Jones) is a gold digger who wants a divorce settlement to provide her with independence. Unfortunately for her she ends up on the wrong side of Massey the first time they meet. What she does about that crushing experience is the rest of the movie, which I can't talk about here.
In spite of the virtues the movie has in performance, it lacks some sparkle in the screenplay. With characters this cynical the movie needs to delight in its sheer all conquering wit to draw you in. As it is, this movie, while entertaining and funny, still left me feeling a bit outside of it all. If you like Clooney and/or Zeta-Jones then you will at least have a couple of hours looking at them. However, if you are looking for something wonderful, look elsewhere. I will say that Geoffrey Rush has a small role in this movie but proves the rule about there not being small roles only small actors. In some ways, his performance is the most memorable role in the film.
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So it's Coen Brothers again, and if it were not for their names put on the DVD, you would not find "Intolerable Cruelty" good as many critics actually did. In short, the Coens are pulling punches when they shouldn't, relying on the "stars" of the film, and instead they give us nothing but a shallow imitation of the 40s screwball comedy.
George Clooney plays the hero of the romantic comedy, the divorce lawyer who fell for Catherine Zeta-Jones's character who takes advantage of now (in)famous pre-naptial agreements to get more money. And of course, they fight each other at first, in and out of the court, and then fall in love perhaps, but that obligatory process is no problem if these two stars have the same kind of sweet, natural charm as Cary Grant.
But sorry, I see none here, and George Clooney is the same old Clooney speaking with the lopsided head; and Ms. Zeta-Jones is no fun, who leaves nothing but an impression that after all she cannot act, literally equating the watching experience of her with the idea "Intolerable Cruelty."
The greatest mistake is that the film refuses to question or make fun of these "pre-naps." By doing so, the men and women here (especially the latter) start to look unnaturally greedy. And after all, when it's about rich people trying to deceive each other, why should we care? We cannot relate to the characters who should be more charming and more human. They are preoccupied with these pre-nap contracts which sound to many of us as remote as the big swimming pool depicted in this film, which makes the whole story ridiculous.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars not bad
interesting show and good acting f c c c c c c c c c c c c c c ,avm,svb
Published 18 months ago by Roger ramjet
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! Full of surprises. Great laughs.
This review contains NO spoilers.

I am surprised at the many negative reviews here and on [...]. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2011 by Nicolai Michel
2.0 out of 5 stars Cover Stories and a Culture of Lies
A comedy of Hollywood infidelity and monetarily inspired marital maneuverings, Intolerable Cruelty is probably the Coens' worst movie. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2010 by Harrison Koehli
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!!
Absolutely phenominal!! Catherine Zeta-Jones and George Clooney make an awesome team! The storyline is a little different but it has an interesting twist on love, marriage and... Read more
Published on June 28 2005 by CZJ Fan!!!
3.0 out of 5 stars clooney + coens = ???
as long as you realize this is a screwball comedy, it's not SO bad. there are some very funny moments, courtesy of clooney. but there are also many dead spots. Read more
Published on July 17 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Intolerable Movie
What happened? Good cast give it their all only to have all the humor incinerated by the director. And the camera work was atrocious too!
Published on June 21 2004 by SIR
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst movie ever!
I rented this movie and it was the biggest piece of dogcrap I've seen since.. uhhh Scooby Doo? The annoying snotty character of Catherine Zeta-Jones is so annoying and after... Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by Lalaine
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Screwball
If you enjoy the classic screwball comedies of Preston Sturges (The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels), you'll enjoy this. It's not great, but it is very good. Read more
Published on June 10 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Coen Brothers Best But Still Darn Amusing
The Coen Brothers almost never fail to engage me, and Intolerable Cruelty didn't disappoint. The movie has a simple premise (as many of their films do) but is populated by strange... Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by R. Barmore
1.0 out of 5 stars one good thing.
Before watching this movie, make sure that you either (A) Had plenty of sleep before watching, or (B) Watch with your significant other and snuggle. Read more
Published on June 2 2004 by Pneuma
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