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Awesome: 3.3%
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10 reviews, 31 user ratings

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Alfie (2004)
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by Elaine Perrone

"Barely semi-quasi-sort-of-entertaining."
2 stars

If I were asked to describe Alfie 2004 in a single word, that word would be "busy." Director Charles Shyer and his cinematographer Ashley Rowe have employed every visual trick in the book to deliver what amounts to a series of vignettes punctuated by rapid jump cuts and crane shots, dissolves and fade-ins, photo montages and snapshots that don't quite disguise the lack of substance beneath all the style. They've even provided chapter headings, via posters ("PURSUE," "DESIRE," "WISH") that Alfie (Jude Law) strolls past, to telegraph his state of mind.

As in Lewis Gilbert's 1966 original starring Michael Caine, Shyer's Alfie invites the audience into his thoughts by speaking directly to the camera, a technique that in 1966 was groundbreaking and edgy, but here seems merely gimmicky -- just another stylistic distraction.

In gritty London, Michael Caine's Alfie was a true scoundrel, charming certainly but just as often cruel, at heart disdainful of women, whom he referred to as "it" and who he exploited for their lack of personal power and their inability to fight back. The abortion at the heart of that film was absolutely shocking because of the sordidness of its circumstances and its illegality, and because of its shattering and self-revelatory effect on Alfie's psyche.

In gloriously-decked-out-for-the-holidays New York, Jude Law's Alfie is a much kinder, gentler rascal, a commitment-phobic lad who loves the ladies, and who, when he's not chauffeuring wealthy clients around the city in his limo, is zipping around on a retro motor scooter. This Alfie's "birds" are far from powerless. They use him as much, or more, for their own pleasure as his, and they are as apt to dump him as he is them.

Julie (Marisa Tomei), Alfie's "semi-permanent-quasi-sort-of-girlfriend," is an intrepid single mom who deserves far more than Alfie has to give and lets him know it. Lonette (Nia Long), the ex-fiance of Alfie's best friend Marlon (Omar Epps), has a one-night stand with Alfie that results in a pregnancy and abortion that are little more than a blip on the movie's radar. Ultimately, Alfie turns out to be her means-to-an-end of getting back with Marlon, a commitment-phobe in his own right. For Liz (Susan Sarandon), an older, sophisticated, and obscenely wealthy woman-about-town, Alfie is a highly enjoyable trifle, just as he is for Dorie (Jane Krakowski), who loves romping with him in the back of his limo as a distraction from her sexless marriage. The one weak bird in Alfie's life is Nikki (Sienna Miller), whom he calls his "Christmas miracle," but who turns out to be a walking disaster with anger-management and substance-abuse issues.

Going for a retro feel, Shyer's version of Alfie often comes across as strangely anachronistic. This is especially evident in an embarrassing -- bordering on racist -- characterization of Alfie's and Marlon's boss, Mr. Wing (Gedde Watanabe), as a strident Asian cripple who browbeats his employees and mistreats his long-suffering wife.

For all its style and glitz, watching Alfie feels a lot like being presented with a beautifully wrapped gift box and opening it to find it empty. Closer in tone to About a Boy than to the original picture from which it derives its name, Alfie also belongs in that unfortunate category known as the unnecessary remake. In the end, it left me pondering far less "What's It All About?" than "Why The Hell Did They Even Bother?"

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11120&reviewer=376
originally posted: 11/08/04 17:31:54
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User Comments

9/07/19 Karen_S it's just not in the same league as the 1960s original 2 stars
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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