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1.04.2007

Closer


It required three viewing attempts before I was actually able to complete this pompous stew to it's unclimatic, flat finale. But before I go all negative on you, Closer has a few merits. But I am not sure they justify the rental fee. This 2004 drama, as most of you may know, stars Natalie Portman as Alice, a misplaced American living in London. You may also be aware that this film attempts to address the sexual frustrations of contemporary human relationship through character dialogue. Well, at least that's the pretense I walked away with.

We are offered four basic personalities: the stripper, the caveman, the divorcee, and the wallflower. And the crude topics of lust, deception and revenge. The two male characters, (Caveman Clive Owens and Wallflower Jude Law) spend their entire screentime engaged in aggressive potty-talk, crying, cursing, and lamenting over the two female characters, (Divorcee Julie Roberts and Stripper Natalie Portman). Outside of the opening scene, which is unlike rest of the movie in it's beauty and style, this flick is rough. Clive, considered a handsome hunk by many, is often shot in sweaty close-up. He is out-of-control, and furious, often insulting and just plain ugly. Droopy Jude Law is well, unappealing. His suits hang limp off his frame, and he often looks in need of a bath. Director Mike Nichols may have sought to create this "look" for his leading men, but really now. This is the big screen.

There may be a whole philosophy behind making a film like Closer. It represents the obsessive id, the desire to control and know all about those we love. Frankly, I've never met men so interested in knowing every damn detail about a female's sexual past. I mean seriously now. Every minute you spend fighting with Natalie Portman for details of her previous liaisons is a minute she still has her pants on. Not a likely premise in real life, I assure you.

Ultimately, the problem with Closer is it has no humor. Not even dark humor. There is no irony. No redemption. But there is confusion: What's the point and can I get a refund?

13 comments:

prettykitty said...

thank you! i thought i was the only one that thought this was a vapid, empty, waste of celluloid wrapped up in the pretense of being deep, raw filmmaking. i love how you point out that the male leads do absolutely nothing, not even with their appearance, to merit the desire from their flawless, well-lit female counterparts. i'm one of the few chicks that thinks clive owens looks like a picasso and must smell of chives&watercress sandwiches. it's like he and jude bathed in balsamic vinagreitte. anything julia roberts is in automatically ruins it for me. and natalie portman? pure perfection. i expected better from mike nichols, at least some of that humor you speak of.

great review, as always.

GetFlix said...

Great minds think alike, PKitty!!

PixieGaf said...

Oh how right you are Flix! Clive Owen has never looked so unattractive and Natalie Portman although hot does not portray a believable stripper. And why is Julia Roberts even in this film is she supposed to portray the beautiful temptress Please!

Diane said...

ok, guys, you convinced me! i'm sticking w/ my current netflix lineup of watching all the episodes of BBC's Midsomer Murders

LA said...

I guess I'll pass on this one.

GetFlix said...

Pixie, you right. Julia Roberts should not have been in this film.

Diane, stick with good English productions.

LA, word.

Terrible lie said...

It's just not a movie that I would watch... If I want to watch a pointless, time consuming movie.. I will watch Jackass 2 or Borat again hahhah now there is some clasic... pointless entertainment!!!

prunella jones said...

I make it a point to avoid all Julia Roberts films.

M-M-M-Mishy said...

Even in the previews, it seemed like this movie was trying to hard to be smart and artsy. Will avoid it.

Thanks getflix!

prettykitty said...

it was compelling only because it was a mike nichols film. but the casting was all wrong. getflix, i'm going to filter all my movie watching through you from here on in.

GetFlix said...

I hate giving a negative review, but this one was really bad.

Ryan said...

Thanks goodness I left this DVD on the self at Blockbuster!

Billie said...

"You may also be aware that this film attempts to address the sexual frustrations of contemporary human relationship through character dialogue."

For an actually really great example of this, I'd highly recommend "Sex Lies and Videotape", one of my favorite films.