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‘Cruelty’ barely tolerable

Michael Aston of Burbank is the lead singer of the Welsh rock band

Gene Loves Jezebel.

This atypical screwball Hollywood comedy is about a guy and lass

who typically begin as adversaries and end as pre-destined lovers.

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You know the story.

There is chemistry between Catherine Zeta-Jones and George

Clooney, but it really wasn’t exploited.

Although there are splinters of sub-Tracey/Hepburn interactions,

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the dialogue fails miserably, and the often misplaced and gratuitous

Shakespearean exchanges between the stars don’t help.

The superb support performances, Billy Bob Thornton in particular,

serve merely to expose how dull this effort is and how exhausted this

genre is.

The Coen brothers are not suited to this Disney-like, feel-good

family fodder. The brightest moments are in its dark-humored twists

at the end of the movie. It’s difficult to be sympathetic to these

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utterly unlovable folk, Hollywood trophy wives and impossibly

successful, sexually deviated, self-made men.

I liked the latter parts of the movie, especially the uproarious

encounter with a hit man suffering from emphysema and the moral of

the tale, that money buys you nothing in love, which is sweet

(although hackneyed) and always life-affirming.

My recommendation is to go see this movie, if only for the Ben

Affleck preview. It’s hilarious!

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“Intolerable Cruelty” is tolerably viewable.

* “Intolerable Cruelty” is rated PG-13 for sexual content,

language and brief violence.


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