Making the Grades
In my local newspaper, Pierce Brosnan says he personally chose Julianne Moore to play his co-star in Laws of Attraction because he wanted someone it would be easy to fall in love with. I can't vouch for what happened off camera, but from what I observed within the frame of the screen, Julianne Moore's character would be difficult to tolerate for an elevator ride, let alone a romantic relationship.
Paying homage to Spencer Tracey and Audrey Hepburn's Adam's Rib, Daniel Rafferty (Brosnan) and Audrey Miller (Moore) are prominent matrimonial attorneys within New York City's legal community. Their personalities in and out of the courtroom couldn't be more different. While Miller looks and reads like a Harvard law text, Rafferty comes across as a drooling, overbearing dog with a dangling leash. We get the idea that at some point someone must have guided this guy into acquiring a law degree-since then he has been left to roam the streets of life. Had I not seen Brosnan in Evelyn (a better marriage-gone-wrong flic), I wouldn't have been able to imagine the ex-007 in this role.
Their professional meetings have sparked the early beginnings of a love-hate relationship, in a classic case of magnetic opposition. Yet even after a drunken night of passion, no love is lost when the pair engage in a new divorce battle.
Initially Serena (Parker Posey), the wife of rock star Thorne Jamison (Michael Sheen), approaches Miller to initiate divorce proceedings. However, the woman jumps ship and decides Rafferty's bulldozer persona is more likely to win her case. So Miller goes on the offensive by approaching Jamison in a press of fans. Informing the pompous rocker that Serena is looking to ditch the marriage, she convinces him to enlist her legal services.
The setup pits the sexes, the lawyers, and their personalities against each other. The hope is to coax a few laughs and some sentimental tears from the audience before the gavel drops. Perhaps that would have been possible if I had believed Miller was a woman worth wooing. Instead, the effort Rafferty exerts keeps bringing me back to the dog analogy-it seems the more she metaphorically hits him with a rolled-up newspaper, the greater his love for her becomes. I'm always happy to see an element of forgiveness in a movie, but this guy needs to recognize this is not a bone worth fighting for.
Perhaps the real reason Rafferty finds himself in such precarious situations is due to his heavy drinking habits, which lead to him making life-changing decisions while drunk. The couple's first sexual union occurs under such circumstances, as does their inadvertent tying of the knot. In the end, the movie's feeble attempt to promote the joy of marriage is marred with casual sexual attitudes, innuendo, and rude sexually oriented terms, leaving little here to attract families to this comedy romance.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Laws of Attraction.
At one point Rafferty tells Miller, “You decided to practice divorce law. At what point did you think it would be classy?” What are some of the difficulties you can think of in specializing in this type of profession? Can you think of any other jobs that spend the majority their time dealing with conflict? What type of personality would be best suited to this kind of work?