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Laws Of Attraction
cast: Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Michael Sheen, Parker Posey, and Frances Fisher

director: Peter Howitt

86 minutes (12) 2004
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
EV DVD Region 2 rental and retail
Also available to rent or buy on video

RATING: 6/10
reviewed by John Percival
Audrey Wood (Julianne Moore) and Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan) are New York's top divorce attorneys. They often find themselves in competition in the courtroom and with Audrey's being permanently stressed out and Daniel being annoying laidback, they could not be more opposite. When they represent opposing parties in the messy divorce of a celebrity couple they set out on a trip to Ireland to prove their case. The trip results in marriage and they must fool the people back home that they are in love.

In climate where we are constantly reminded of how many marriages result in divorce, director Peter Howitt shines a little light on the gloom with this romantic comedy of marriage through divorce. It is oddly refreshing not just seeing Pierce Brosnan out of the Bond role (in which he is the best Bond), but also in a comedy role. His laidback but in control portrayal of Daniel is the complete opposite to Julianne Moore's stressed and neurotic Audrey, and they seem more likely to be enemies than partners. However the dynamic between the two main characters is nearly all that raises this film above what would otherwise be a routine romantic comedy. Opposed people coming together through unusual circumstances has been used more times than is actually healthy but removing the characters from their familiar surroundings and placing them in a very odd Ireland was a not a bad choice. Perhaps its idea of taking the character out of their safe legal world and placing them in a different world gives them time to reflect and work out what it is important.

Director Peter Howitt, who to me will always be Joey Boswell from series Bread, has done the romantic comedy before, most notably with the hugely popular Sliding Doors. Sadly, Laws Of Attraction is nowhere near as intelligent or thought provoking. Yet again he also makes a silent cameo in his own film as a client of Daniel's. One possibly overwhelming flaw with the film is that even through Daniel's boyish nature and Audrey's neurotic 'Bridget Jones' personality, they are both old enough to know better. For top lawyers who would have to plan everything down to the smallest detail in order to secure a divorce case win, they are far too impulsive to be convincing.

What we have left is hardly groundbreaking but is more a light romantic comedy. It is nice to see Brosnan playing against type especially in a comedy role filmed in some beautiful locations, and the unbelievable nature of the characters can be forgiven for the most part. Laws Of Attraction is not a bad film, but considering the cast it could have been better.

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