Courting Room Drama
Two divorce lawyers have to contend with the fact that whilst a couple they are also rivals in the courtroom. That quick summary makes "Laws of Attraction" sound a bit similar to Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn's classic "Adam's Rib" and when I read the synopsis I thought it was going to be basically an update of the old movie. But in truth these movies are very different and "Laws of Attraction" is a run of the mill modern romantic-comedy where two people who antagonize each other fall in love but find their professional rivalry causing issues. It is nicely cast, nicely directed and often fun but it is also so very ordinary and predictable that the only thing you will probably remember from it is Michael Sheen's supporting role as a rocker.
To say "Laws of Attraction" is text book is not an insult because it really is as we meet Audrey Woods (Julianne Moore - Far from Heaven) a divorce attorney with a touch of the OCD who finds herself coming up against laid back charmer Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan - The Thomas Crown Affair). The entire first half of the movie is all about them antagonizing each other in various courtroom battles whilst it is obvious that personally they quite like each other. We get some dirty games as first Daniel tries to slyly humiliate Audrey and then she tries to get him back as they give TV interviews and drop in little digs during their TV time. It is fun especially when we have a scene where Daniel pulls out Audrey's panties from his pocket during one courtroom battle but it is all very obvious.
This all leads to them representing either side in a divorce between rocker Thorne Jamison (Michael Sheen - Bright Young Things) and Serena (Parker Posey) with each of them wanting the castle in Ireland and yes that means we have Audrey and Daniel in Ireland. Again we are in the world of the text book here because not only do we have Irish stereotypes, some of which are so quirky it borders on being insulting, and of course both Audrey and Daniel getting drunk at a local festival. And it is no spoiler to say that their drunken partying ends up with them waking up the next day married.
I could go on because "Laws of Attraction" continues to be text book when it comes to how Audrey and Daniel deal with their spur of the moment marriage and the rocky road which follows. And whilst it is fun it is all so ordinary and ultimately predictable. It is a case that before you even get half way you know how it is going to end and that need for a decent twist, something a bit more original screams out.
Part of the trouble is that whilst Peter Howitt does a nice job of directing "Laws of Attraction" and the casting of Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore is good the actual chemistry isn't there. Brosnan is laid back and charming whilst Moore is uptight and controlling but when they get together you never truly feel any passion.
In the end it is Michael Sheen who makes the most memorable contribution because his over the top rocker Thorne is seriously funny.
What this all boils down to is that "Laws of Attraction" doesn't have anything really wrong with it but it also lacks anything to make it stand out from the crowd. It means that it is a middle of a road romantic comedy which is fun but for the most forgettable.