Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #214 Alfie

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2011 at 12:35 AM

Movie #214 Alfie

(2004, US/UK, d. Charles Shyer)

Alfie‘s charm requires that it knows exactly what charm is. Unfortunately, though, it’s definition is far off. The biggest problem with this ‘romantic comedy’ is that the main character isn’t charming at all. Somehow, the filmmakers were able to completely distance me from the protagonist. I almost hated Jude Law in this, and that takes a lot of work. There’s something about successful bachelors who are into style and nice cars wooing women into bed. Audiences like that. But even they have a certain moral code about them. Something that allows us to root for them, regardless of their vices. Alfie throws all of those out the window. I don’t know if it was just me, but rooting for a poor limo driver, who somehow manages to only care about fashion, sleep with literally anybody that wants to sleep with him isn’t enjoyable. It made me dislike the character. From there, regardless of the story and how much Shyer tried to bring back the charm of the original Michael Caine 60’s version of the film, this movie was doomed. When Alfie sleeps with his best friend’s girlfriend, it was all over for me. Regardless of the arc he was to go through, Alfie’s sins were beyond redemption. For a movie that relied on our belief that this guy was cool and everything the average man wanted to be, it had failed miserably. Another thing this film tries to bring is a lot of sequences and music from the original, none of which work. Featuring a jazzy score to characterize the steamy, random sex life of Alfie (to borrow a couple lines from another movie about single life in the Big Apple Hitch) and a few montages done through still frames, Alfie just adds one piece of crap on top of another until the untrained eye looks at it and thinks it may be modern art. Be warned though: it’s just a pile of garbage.

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