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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Alfie (review)

Jude Law (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) is irrefutably charming as unrepetant womanizer Alfie Elkins… maybe a bit more genuinely, warmly charming than Alfie should be, actually. Alfie’s swinging lifestyle — complete with moped and Mod neckware — is about as dated as you’d expect from a fairly faithful remake of a 60s flick, but the film falls flat because Law’s Alfie just doesn’t have the sharky heart that Michael Caine’s did 40 years ago. Oh, sure, Alfie’s asides to the camera — about the short shelf lives of beautiful women, the joys of impersonal sex, and all the tricks up a playboy bachelor’s sleeve to get those beautiful women into the sack during that brief window of hotness — are requisitely snide and simultaneously pitiful, but Law’s Alfie is too quickly and too dramatically affected by the smacks with the reality stick he takes. It’s as if Alfie was too smart and never really shallow enough to buy into his own schtick. And if he doesn’t, why should we? What’s it all about? Hell if I know.

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MPAA: rated R for sexual content, and some language and drug use

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb
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