catapult magazine

catapult magazine


The Cohen Brothers


Nov 02 2003
07:48 am

I just saw “Intolerable Cruelty” last night. Though one reviewer at the Chicago Reader said it is just another Cohen Brothers film, I thought it was something of a departure in tone. It seems like they set out to make a romantic comedy that mocks the mockery of mocking marriage and divorce. Actually, I’m not quite sure what to think, yet, though. There was definitely alot of introversion (ala “Barton Fink”, “The Big Lebowski”, “The Man Who Wasn’t There”) about telling stories. This time the introversion was aimed at the relationship of the audience member (judge and jury) and the moviemaker who’s achieved all he’s set out to do, but must make certain compomises for his lover, the audience.

There’s alot going on in this film. I didn’t get many of the jokes until several seconds, even minutes afterward, and there were a whole lot of references to Roman stuff, Nero, Caesar etc. Clooney and Zeta-Jones had no chemistry, but I’m not ready to rule that out as intentional yet because I have underestimated the thoughtfulness of the Cohen Brothers before.