Closer [DVD]  
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A witty, romantic, and very dangerous love story about chance meetings, instant attractions, and casual betrayals. CLOSER is director Mike Nichols' critically acclaimed look at four strangers - Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen - with one thing in common: each other. Adaptedby Patrick Marber from his award-winning stage play, CLOSER "VIBRATES WITH EROTICISM, BRUISING LAUGHS, AND DYNAMIC PERFORMANCES. CLOSER IS A TRIUMPH!" - Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE
Four extremely beautiful people do extremely horrible things to one another in Closer, Mike Nichols' pungent adaptation of Patrick Marber's play that easily marks the Oscar-winning director's best work in years. Anna (Julia Roberts) is a photographer who specializes in portraits of strangers; Dan (Jude Law) is an obituary writer struggling to become a novelist; Alice (Natalie Portman) is an American stripper freshly arrived in London after a bad relationship; and Larry (Clive Owen) is a dermatologist who finds love under the most unlikely of circumstances. When their paths cross it's a dizzying supernova of emotions, as Nichols and Marber adroitly construct various scenes out of their lives that pair them again and again in various permutations of passion, heartbreak, anger, sadness, vengeance, pleading, deception, and most importantly, brutal honesty. It's only until you're more than halfway through the movie that you'll have to ask yourself exactly why you are watching such a beautifully tragic tale, as Closer is basically the ickiest, grossest, most dysfunctional parts of all your past relationships strung together into one movie. Ultimately, it falls to the four actors to draw you deeper into the story; all succeed relatively, but it's Law and Owen whose characters will cut you to the quick. Law proves that yet again he's most adept at playing charming, amoral bastards with manipulative streaks, and Owen is nothing short of brilliant as the character most turned on by the energy inherent in destructive relationships--whether he's on the giving or receiving end. --Mark Englehart
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Top Customer Reviews
I think some of the viewers who have left comments on the website have largely missed the point. It is certainly not a romantic comedy (and how you would presume this from the tag-line I don't quite understand, 'If you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking'). Nor is it badly acted at all, and I think the language is effective precisely because it is so real. It is not a pretty tale, it's a true one about love in London in the nineties. And believe me I was there...
It is a simple story of meetings and break-ups, a brutal tale of love, the precise opposite to a rom-com. This film considers the other side of 'happy ever after', of how love turns out in a not-so-perfect world.
The film is made up of a series of duologues, wonderfully acted, particularly by Owen and Portman, who truly shine in their roles. All give remarkably exposing performances, and I was really impressed by the lack of 'Hollywood glamour' in the film. Yes, all the stars are stunning, but all present very raw characters - and that is precisely what it is about. Sex is mis-presented as love, and love as sex, and both can be thrown about easily.
This is not an easy film to watch. It hurts, some of the dialogue is genuinely brutal, but overall I think it's a good adaptation of the stage play. If you want to watch a nice romantic comedy, buy 'Maid in Manhatten'. But if you're after something a bit edgier and more true, then this is much closer to the bone.
I used to love (screenwriter) Patrick Marber in The Day Today and I thought his adaptation of Zoe Heller's 'Notes on a Scandal' was pretty good stuff, but this is just total dross and I can't believe anyone thinks otherwise. It's not like I spend my life watching Rambo films - name pretty much any poncey film and I've seen it twice and got the t-shirt - and I have absolutely nothing against the 'mature themes' that others have mentioned. But 'Closer' is in fact mind-bogglingly immature, like an erotic story written by a virgin. Tee hee, Natalie Portman is a stripper, Clive Owen surfs dirty websites at work, everyone jumps in and out of bed with each other... Aren't we big and aren't we clever? Well, no, actually, and dialogue such as 'I love you. I need a p*ss' is like something out of a sixth-form play.
No surprises for guessing that this was, in fact, adapted from Marber's own stage play. Everything has the ring of artificiality, and the dialogue is horribly arch and self-satisfied. The whole thing is one big Neil La Bute rip-off. Wisps of character drifting about saying unlikely things in sneery voices and swearing a bit to show how marvellously cutting edge it all is. (The funny thing is, I kind of like Neil La Bute. There's an air of originality to his work, no matter how annoying. But sloppy seconds are an entirely different matter.) Clive Owen is probably the worst offender. He can barely deliver a line here! He's so awful I almost want to cry. I hope Julia Roberts worked for free because she's barely in it. Even when she's on screen you don't notice she's there.Read more ›
Basically, I think the major problem with a lot of the most viciously negative reviewers here is that they seem to be lacking a sense of humour. I found Closer to be a very dark, very bitingly funny black comedy. It's not easy to get me laughing during a movie, but I really did howl in parts of this one. But then, an instant later, one of the leads would make an unutterably cruel remark, or a profound comment, or a tragic admission, and that would act like a sharp blow to the stomach, and the laughter would dissolve into something a lot more thoughtful and poignant.
I'm not saying this is a perfect film, though. There were quite a few lines in the script that I felt I'd heard before in some other hackneyed soap opera of angsty relationships, such as 'Please don't do this' etc. Maybe it's because a lot of these lines were delivered without any real emotional oomph or imagination by Julia Roberts, and sometimes by Jude Law. Both of their performances were generally solid, but there were two particular scenes focused on both their characters which did fall very flat. Thank God for Clive Owen's performance- he was riveting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disappointing. Too much swearing - especially from apparently well-educated characters, and some of the 'grittier' scenes were drawn out far too long.Published 7 days ago by Graham W
Bit boring. Basic plot is Julia Roberts goes between two different men and sleeps with one then another. I persevered and watched it to the end. Glad it was so cheap.Published 2 months ago by Nicola23
Jude Law and Julia Roberts rock in this one. Great viewing and storyline.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
coz im a f*****g cave man.superbly written drama,Clive Owen & Jude Law both excellent in thisPublished 7 months ago by dylan swain
Be aware this film is very 'sexually orientated' and too explicit to my taste. It was a bit too much for me. For this reason I did not like it.Published 7 months ago by A customer