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"Intolerable Cruelty"

UNIVERSAL'S "INTOLERABLE Cruelty" is just that. Something to be forgotten. The comedy is passé and the romance clichéd. But that does not mean that there aren't moments that are not worth watching. But only if you are in the process of getting divorced and want to make the best of the situation. Can be very rewarding if you know how to play the game well. And a beautiful Marylin (Catherine Zeta Jones) shows you how. It is quite another thing that in all, this stunner also learns that money and independence are not everything.

Miles Massey (George Clooney) is debonair, looking after his teeth very well so he can flash them at will, and extremely successful as a divorce lawyer in California. Sometimes a bit underhand, he never fails with a case and is known to get amazing deals for his clients, just as he can abort the vested interests of the worst case of gold digging. But he is bored.

That's when he meets Marylin. A woman who objects to her husband's cheating on her and demands a divorce with a settlement that would wipe him out. And Miles has been hired by the husband to prevent that. Which of course he does with great skill earning the wrath of Marylin. But acknowledging his skill then brings her billionaire fiancé to Miles to draw up what is known as the Massey Pre Nuptial Agreement — something that is the last word on such things. And still Marylin is game.

Miles is suspicious but finds himself at the wedding when an overwhelmed new husband eats up the agreement to prove how much he loves his bride and that he has no doubts of the love.

Naturally Miles is absolutely fascinated by this ruthless woman who knows hot to get what she sets her eyes on. He follows her like a lovelorn puppy and along with him is a fawning associate who cries at weddings and happy endings. And while the cat and mouse game goes on and on, you'll have to see the film to find out if these two find true love after a lifetime of treasury and cynicism!

Not much of a story, not much of chemistry between Clooney and Jones, not many notable characters and not much of a film too.

The narration is half hearted. It seems like the directors (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen) lost interest half way through and both Clooney and Jones look like they are there for their own reasons. Jones to prove how gorgeous she is and Clooney to make others discover his sex appeal.

Besides its not such a hot comment on divorces in California as well. Because if — wife cheating on her husband, husband cheating on his wife — is what the state of marriage is all about, then the less said about it the better.

The Coens obviously aren't too good with comedy. Or the material is weak especially when they try to tell audiences that a dim wit, wheezing ex-wrestler hired to kill Marylin is funny. A pathetic joke, truly.

CHITRA MAHESH

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