Movie Hype
New Releases, Oscar-Winners and Obscure Movies!

Alfie

1 rating: -1.0
A movie directed by Charles Shyer

Jude Law stars in this trenchant dramatic-comedy, a remake of the 1966 British counterculture classic that launched the career of Michael Caine. This version is set in New York City and is pumped up with giddy, cleverly experimental editing. The story … see full wiki

Tags: Movies, Dramas
Cast: Dick Latessa
Director: Charles Shyer
Release Date: 2004
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Alfie

What's it All About? Jude Law Looking Gorgeous

  • Nov 9, 2004
Rating:
-1
Pros: acting, beauty, JUDE LAW, Susan Sarandon

Cons: Tomei disappoints, boring story, nothing too controversial or topical

The Bottom Line: The last of the famous international playboys...

Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot.

If you want to see a movie featuring a gorgeous leading man, Alfie is the film for you. However, if you’re looking for profundity, you’ll leave the theater feeling as empty as the title character’s life.

“Jude Law should be the next James Bond,” I told my friend Katy.
“He should be everything,” she replied, sighing.

Jude Law looks beautiful in every scene in Alfie from the opening shot of him waking up alone in his own bed, a very rare occurrence, he tells us. Director Charles Shyer shows off Law’s exquisite frame by dressing him in everything from designer suits to wifebeaters to nothing at all. Yum. Unfortunately, the content, script, and plot don’t measure up to Law’s physical magnificence.

I’ve never seen Michael Caine’s original Alfie (1966), but, reportedly, it was insightful and controversial, addressing the issue of illegal abortions and sexuality. 2004’s Alfie has nothing topical in it, unless you count Alfie’s relationship with Liz (Susan Sarandon), as it illustrates the current trend of younger men dating older women.

Alfie’s skinny ties and motorbike are throw-backs to the sixties, but Shyer can’t commit to a fully retro movie. While the original is a period piece, the new Alfie seems confused as to where it’s situated and what exactly it’s trying to say. The remake takes place in New York, but Alfie is English, and girls in a club refer to him as “Eurotrash” at one point, so it’s not really a critique of American culture. Alfie’s obsession with brand names is somewhat relevant to today’s metrosexual trend, but Shyer misses an opportunity to poke fun at modern day, trashy socialites like Paris Hilton by making Nikki (Sienna Miller, for whom Jude Law, fittingly, left his wife during the filming of Alfie) look a bit like Marianne Faithfull, to match the half-hearted sixties vibe of the rest of the film.

Alfie is a British ladies’ man whose good looks and charm earn him a place in the beds of dozens of beautiful and, often, wealthy women. However, if they start to want a relationship, he disappears from their lives. In the Swingin’ Sixties, many people embraced this carefree lifestyle, but it seems that we are now in a couple-dominated era. Be it a fear of AIDS or the religious right’s “morality” campaign, but Colin Farrell’s bed-hopping is an anomaly rather than a rule for sexy, international bachelors. Most celebrities tend toward serial monogamy these days, so the message of Alfie that meaningless sex is, well, meaningless seems stale.

In both the original and the remake, Alfie speaks to the camera, which gets annoying at times. He gets in an occasional good quip, but most of the monologues are inane. Telling us that he starts to feel stifled when a woman wants to settle down with him is nothing new. In this era of short attention spans, most of us are all too familiar with the trapped feeling you get when you realize your partner has become too attached.

Alfie drives a limousine for rich clients in Manhattan. Quite a few of these moguls have young, frustrated, trophy wives, and Alfie is more than willing to give them a special ride in the back seat. He has an on-again off-again girlfriend in Julie (Marisa Tomei) for back-up, but, for the most part, he plays the field. Julie has a young son named Max on whom Alfie is oddly fixated. I suspect that this is supposed to hint at Alfie’s underlying sensitivity, but it doesn’t seem believable as we hardly see him interact with the boy, and he initially refers to him as "an accessory" of a single mother. Julie is cute and charming, but there’s something missing from her character that made it hard to accept her as the central love interest. I normally love Ms. Tomei, but she's lackluster in this role.

The protagonist is at the center of several interpersonal conflicts–his relationships with Nikki, Julie, and Liz–but none of them were quite meaty enough to hold my interest. The biggest crisis occurs when Alfie creates a love triangle with his friend/business partner Marlon (Omar Epps) and Marlon’s estranged girlfriend Lonette (Nia Long). I think that the director was trying to make Alfie 2004 edgy by including an interracial love scene, but it didn’t cover up the fact that the love triangle itself is rather boring.

Alfie is beautiful to look at, and not just because of Jude Law’s lovely shoulders. The colors are vibrant, and the New York setting is exquisite. Shyer also uses a mildly strobe-like repeating shots effect during key moments that works quite well.

Mick Jagger was a perfect choice for the soundtrack. The original songs are his best work in years. Since Sir Mick, like Alfie, is a notorious playboy, we often forget that his rock voice can sound melancholy and haunting. “Blind Leading the Blind” is the most moving Jagger song since “Angie,” and he did it without the help of Keith Richards.

Susan Sarandon and Jude Law get the chance to shine in this film, but it’s mainly their body language that made their performances so riveting. If the story was as good as the acting, we’d be looking at an instant classic. At 58, Sarandon still has a killer figure, and her sassiness is inspirational. Law cements himself as the sexiest man alive. His cheeky little grin could melt the ice caps, or, in the words of Mick Jagger, “make a dead man come.”




Recommended:
Yes

Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

What did you think of this review?

Helpful
0
Thought-Provoking
0
Fun to Read
0
Well-Organized
0
Post a Comment
What's your opinion on Alfie?
rate
1 rating: -1.0
You have exceeded the maximum length.
Photos
Alfie
Related Topics
Requiem for a Dream

Darren Aronofsky's controversial and critically acclaimed 20

Empire of the Sun

A movie

Good Will Hunting

Drama movie directed by Gus Van Sant

Lost in Translation

2003 comedy-drama film

Source: Alfie on Lunch.com
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
Movie Hype is part of the Lunch.com Network - Get this on your site
()
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since
reviews
comments
ratings
questions
compliments
lists