(out of 5)
When it comes to divorce court, no one’s style, savvy or determination for success beat that of Audrey Woods (Julianne Moore), the most successful divorce attorney in Manhattan. Enter Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan), a ruffled, badly mannered import from California who is out to beat Woods’s record. Finding each other on opposite sides of the bench quite frequently, the two of them start to feel more and more attracted to each other the more they spend time together. Romantic comedies like these are an easily pre-packaged deal: you know the set-up, you can predict the follow through and you could bet your life on the outcome. While this one’s clever dialogue and gemlike supporting characters never quite manage to lift it beyond the familiarity of it all, it’s at least fun to watch the adorable stars trying their best. Moore is charming in a rare comedy role, while Brosnan sheds his dapper spy-guy tuxedo in favour of rumpled earth tones and still manages to remain appealing. It concludes with a feeble climax and a hokey final scene, but until then it’s a pretty inoffensive diversion. Frances Fisher has all the best scenes as Moore’s social queen mother who refuses to grow old without a fight.
Directed by Peter Howitt
Cinematography by Adrian Biddle
Music by Ed Shearmur
Production Design by Charles Wood
Costume Design by Joan Bergin
Film Editing by Tony Lawson