Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Intolerable Cruelty

But first a film Intolerable Cruelty which I was tempted to see in theatre when it was first released because it stars the adorable Catherine Zeta Jones. I was also attracted because the film is Directed and Produced by Joel and Ethan Coen who also contributed to the screen play. The film also stars George Clooney playing George Clooney together with Geoffrey Rush and Billy Bob Thornton, the latter two among my top score of favourite male actors.

The premise of the film is no matter how cynical, calculating, ruthless and hard bitten an individual can become they will abandon everything they believe in and have practised when they meet the right person. In this respect it is a repeat of the film Up in the Air. In that film Clooney is out Clooneyed by a woman but in Intolerable Cruelty they out do each other but decide to go for love happy ever after.

Clooney plays a top notch lawyer with two claims to fame. He has devised as prenuptial agreement which is water tight so that once signed the terms are binding with no legal loop holes. The second is his ability to win settlements for his clients regardless of evidence, fault and actual responsibility.

The film opens with a show case in which a woman is caught with a pool maintenance man by an early returning husband who comments that they have no pool.

Clooney manages to get everything for the wife in the divorce settlement with the husband Geoffrey Rush left on the street.

In the second case Catherine Zeta Jones has married a wealthy man and then sets out have him caught in a motel room engaged in sexual role play. He engages Clooney and Zeta Jones is ultra confident until Clooney take her out for a meal during the trial in order for a colleague to break in and photo her address book and this leads to the discovery that she asked a concierge to find her a rich man who is easily manipulated and as a consequence of his testimony she loses everything.

Hell bent on revenge she finds Rush and enlists his help in a complicated plot which involves her marrying an oil man(Billy Bob Thornton) and she asks Clooney to prepare a pre nup agreement which gives her nothing should the marriage not last, however he tears up and eats the agreement at the marriage ceremony. She then divorces the husband and obtains a settlement which makes her a rich woman, or so Clooney is led to believe!

The two meet in Las Vegas where he is about to address once more a convention of marriage lawyers to give another cynical how to win lecture but announces that because he has found true love he is giving up his career to undertake pro bono work. The two marry. He signs a pre nuptial to show he is not doing it for the money but she tears it up, But after one night she leaves him and he finds out that she was not rich as her husband was an actor recommended to her by Rush. She is therefore entitled to half the marriage assets which is in fact half of his wealth and she has none. She has her revenge.

Clooney engages a hit man but before the assassination takes place Clooney finds out that in fact Zeta Jones has become wealthier than himself because her previous husband has died and had not changed his will so leaving everything to her. If they divorce Clooney will find himself financially better off when the total assets are divided. Clooney takes steps to stop the assassin. At the negotiation for the settlement they decide they want to be with each other. Zeta Jones suggests to the TV producer former husband who Clooney put on the street an idea for a new TV show starring her second husband the actor played by Bill Bob. Everyone gains and true love triumphs The programme is called America’s Funniest Divorce Videos. Ha Ha funny.

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