Thursday, March 24, 2005


What's It All About? It's all about Jude Law. He's at his finest here, a lower class bloke who's only got one thing on his mind in Manhattan: women. Women of all sizes, shapes, personalities, and star power.

It took a bit of a change of script to modernize the tale. The original Alfie, done perfectly by newly budding star Michael Caine, was a rakish young Cockney who treated the birds as if they were lower than animals, but freaked out when one of them sought an abortion. The look on Caine's face was moving, shuddering, and was the scene which became the life-changing event that brought about a halt to the arrogance and uselessness of his life.

There's no such scene in the modern Alfie. Frankly it wouldn't play well these days. But the screenwriters found other ways to bring about change in Alfie's perception of women and the world and his place in it.

The wonderful extras of the Alfie DVD show that the screenwriters tried to replace the events in the original movie with ones that would equal the impact, and they did the same thing with Alfie's women. However, it's my opinion that they erred in casting for most of these women. Marisa Tomei should be the grounding force as the girlfriend who gets sick of his wandering ways, but she looks more sad and helpless than determined and powerful. Nia Long seems tired and lost as the girlfriend of Alfie's best friend. Sienna Miller is interesting in the weird rocker chick "Nikki." Jane Krakowski is good in her very brief role as the woman who seeks the chauffeur to solve her marital problems.

The only woman who really has an impact on us, and a big one on Alfie, is Susan Sarandon. It's a small role, but watch out! She moves onto the scene like a lioness, with great authority, arrogant in her own way, and takes Alfie for what he is. Unfortunately, that's all he is, and he lands badly. This thud on top of the other issues in his life is the straw that starts realization and change.

I do recommend Alfie for a quiet night, a study into the mind of the young man who wants to "get it on." While I wish the casting directors had made better choices, the story still moves and Jude Law is still a great Alfie.


Post a Comment

<< Home