A review of “Laws of Attraction” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: **

Rating: PG-13 for sexual innuendo and language

Run Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

 

 

Julianne Moore is an outstanding actress, blessed with acting chops that will take her all the way to the top.  But a comedienne she is not.

Welcome to the world of opposites attract, of yin and yang and Adam’s Rib.  Audrey Woods (Moore) is a brilliant Yale grad and top divorce attorney; organized to an absolute fault.  Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan) is her polar opposite, practicing divorce law with a haphazard style that is nonetheless wildly successful.

Audrey and Daniel should be at each other’s throats, and they are; battling over clients and trying to one-up each other with flurries of verbal volleyball.  She utilizes the law as her weapon, he uses cheap theatrics. And then there’s that subtle issue of attraction….

The complex labyrinth of human relationships is difficult to portray onscreen, and there are serious ground-rules for success.  The most basic is to cast leads who have good chemistry.  Moore and Brosnan appear to like one another, but their sizzle is a fizzle.  Several narrative misfires are indefensible –  smooth as silk Brosnan (“Bond, James Bond”) as a sloppy, floppy-haired chump;  edgy, intelligent Moore going mush at the sight of rumply Prince Charming, etc. 

Laws looks great – from its glossy far-flung locales in New York City and the Irish countryside to the cut of Moore’s fabulous power suits.  Michael Sheen and Parker Posey add zest as primo clients Thorne and Serena Jamison, a belligerent rock superstar and his hot designer wife. 

The last act loses steam as Moore vacillates wildly between her professional ethics and her heart, succumbing to the cracks in her professional armor.  The hit-and-miss script pulls witty punches with bland punctuations. Corny, lightweight, and mildly disappointing.