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Awesome: 3.33%
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10 reviews, 30 user ratings

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Alfie (2004)
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by Jason Whyte

"Old habits die hard..."
4 stars

Breaking the fourth wall in a comedy is a device that has been used for decades, and yet watching Jude Law talk to us about all of his pesky endeavours in “Alfie” just makes perfect, original sense to me. We get a real sense of Alfie’s persona as a man who womanizes from one lady to another, not only because he can but because he wants to. And we get a running commentary of sorts on his plight. And the more he talks, the more I sit up and listen.

What sets “Alfie” apart from other romantic comedies (I have not seen the original with Michael Caine and Shelley Winters) is that Jude Law plays Alfie as a real, three-dimensional person, who just happens to be a womanizer that is oh-so well-spoken and charming to everyone he meets. This is an outstanding performance from Law, who is everywhere these days. (SIX films starring Mr. Law are due for release this fall.) His Alfie wouldn’t be too far off from Campbell Scott’s Roger in “Roger Dodger”, who used manipulation and word-play to get exactly what he wanted.

As the film opens, we meet Alfie sleeping alone in his apartment. But quickly we learn that he has enjoyed a night of passion and prefers to sleep in his own bed. Alfie is a simple, likable limo-driver and uses that very service to finagle his way into the arms of attractive, financially-sound women with his charms. The first woman we meet is Dorie (Jane Krakowski), who has no problem wooing her driver into the back seat with him. Soon enough, we meet Alfie’s on-off girlfriend (Marisa Tomei) who is a single mother and wants more time with her boyfriend, and is quickly realizing that Alfie isn’t the one that is going to fulfill this. There’s also Lonette (Nia Long) who is having troubles with her boyfriend Marlon, who is also a close friend of Alfie. Alfie decides to “help” Lonette the only way he knows how.

It is clearly obvious, among many other things, that Alfie fears commitment. He’s a playboy who enjoys moving from one woman to the next, and as soon as something goes on for too long, he fears the inevitable and believes it is time to move on. There’s a terrific scene where Alfie makes cute with a model named Nikki (Sienna Miller) and everything in their swinging’ tryst seem to be going along until the other glass breaks…literally, as their glasses meet and shatter at a New Years party. This is clearly symbolic to Alfie as he realizes that it is all downhill from here, and finds his way towards Liz (Susan Sarandon), a socialite who enjoys her swinging lifestyle which isn’t too unlike Alfie’s.

Throughout all of this, Alfie communicates directly to the audience, sometimes when he’s with himself or in the middle of a scene where he “breaks” off of the action to talk to us. The way that director Charles Shyer (“Father of the Bride,” “The Affair of the Necklace”) handles this style is much better than narration; we really feel connected to Alfie as he learns to finally come of age. Add to that, the music of Mick Jagger and David A. Stewart is another welcome character in the movie, as is the warm, colorful cinematography by Ashley Rowe that really makes New York look great in the winter.

Where a lesser movie would let the hero get the girl (or one of them, in this case), “Alfie” has a lot more going on. There’s a dark undercurrent flowing through the story as Alfie knows that his quests will not last because nothing he ever starts ever see the finish line, and he earns everything that is coming to him. The film finalizes on several sequences where Alfie tries, much to his own disbelief, to make amends to the women that he has mistreated. When that pesky thing called reality sets in…

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11120&reviewer=350
originally posted: 11/05/04 12:32:49
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User Comments

1/14/10 Samantha P jude law does a great job in a kind of alright movie. 3 stars
2/03/08 art an excellent remake sienna miller is a perfect 10 jude law fill's micheal caine's shoe's 4 stars
5/02/07 David Pollastrini Just OK 3 stars
12/24/06 Jackie Jude Law did an outstanding job only reason i give it 4 stars movie in general not so great 4 stars
5/21/06 Diane P really looking forward to this one but very disappointed in it 2 stars
3/10/06 Tanya it was okay could have been better 3 stars
10/14/05 eddiejohns Definitely a guide for men on how not to be. 3 stars
5/21/05 JFK average movie, but worth a look for the music 4 stars
5/16/05 Jim A semi-interesting portrait of a sort of cad 3 stars
5/12/05 Jennifer Regan Ending isn't very good 4 stars
3/24/05 Trish Rucker See the original instead! 3 stars
3/20/05 Kyle I thought it was really good. Felt sorry for him at the end. 4 stars
3/18/05 PAMELA HANSEN this sleeping dog should have been let lie ...leave well enough alone 3 stars
3/11/05 Sid Savillo/Novelist/Scriptwriter The Emptiness he has has to be filled in by women he ins and outs. 4 stars
2/22/05 Joseph Venanzi first Italian Job now Alfie. What's next remaking M. Cain's Last Valley? 2 stars
2/20/05 fiona I felt like they expected me to like the character, Alfie. I didn't. lame. 2 stars
2/10/05 Sharon Davis not as good as the old one 3 stars
2/08/05 Al Guy Not as "real" as the original. Ok. 3 stars
2/05/05 Cassandra Farrar great job by all 4 stars
2/03/05 sue ostergard This one seems pretty dumb to me. 2 stars
1/27/05 Roz The film wins some style points but doesn't come up to the original. 3 stars
12/30/04 Candace Troy Powers Yep! I can only pity anyone desperate enough to fuck Susan Sirhandon & Marisa Ptomaine! 2 stars
12/30/04 Valerie Jones Why should Alfie get blamed for never meeting anyone worth "committing" to? 2 stars
11/13/04 Joe Smaltz I must be becoming Movie junkie; I was in awe of the cinematography , photography, Editing 4 stars
11/11/04 Andrea great actor, lousy film...bring back Michael Caine 2 stars
11/10/04 nicole it was awesome jude law looker hot in it too ;) 5 stars
11/10/04 Naka Nope! 1 stars
11/10/04 impartial judgement lame and boring 1 stars
11/08/04 kris jude law was very stylish and sexy. And his downfall was displayed very well. 5 stars
11/05/04 Kris Jude was great. Looked great, too! 5 stars
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  05-Nov-2004 (R)
  DVD: 15-Mar-2005



Directed by
  Charles Shyer

Written by
  Charles Shyer
  Elaine Pope

  Jude Law
  Marisa Tomei
  Omar Epps
  Susan Sarandon
  Nia Long
  Jane Krakowski

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