Laws of Affection
By Rebecca Redshaw
“Laws is the visual equivalent to that elusive summer paperback. It’s a feel good flashback to Pillow Talk days.”
The month of May usually ushers in light-hearted times. Kids count down school days, adults plan for vacation getaways. But times are tough right now. The headlines are grim and bookstores that are traditionally filled with no-brainer beach fare, are stocked with non-fiction, political tomes that thinking people are compelled to buy and, hopefully, read.
How does one lift one’s spirits when a giant, dark cloud prevails? Go to the movies, buy a big bag of popcorn and watch Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore in Laws of Affection.
Laws is the visual equivalent to that elusive summer paperback. It’s a feel good flashback to Pillow Talk days with just about the same level of plot plausibility.
Brosnan plays Daniel Rafferty, a successful, high-powered divorce attorney and whether he’s scruffy, unshaven, and wrinkled or is polished with every hair in place wearing a thousand dollar suit or is hunkered down at the Irish pub drinking with the locals, the actor oozes charm.
Moore plays Audrey Woods, a successful, high-powered divorce attorney and whether she’s in tailored, designer ensembles with perfect make-up or her cozy slippers, cuddled up on the couch with junk food or stepping lively on the dance floor in Ireland with flowers in her hair, the actor is stunning.
The plot is thin. There are countless quips and one-liners but the viewer is asked to suspend the reality of life as we know it in the 21st century. Could fear of her mother’s failed marriages really keep Audrey apart from Daniel for longer than the proverbial New York minute?
Speaking of “mother”: Frances Fisher makes the most of her Thelma Ritter supporting role without the benefit of morning hangovers. The chemical boosts and medical procedures today don’t lend themselves to stumbling off elevators but more to treadmills and rock concerts. Fisher plays the part with a twinkle in her eye that is not surgically credited.
Laws of Affection will not last long enough in film memory to be compared to Pillow Talk, but for the time being – and these times are tough – it is fun to escape in the darkness of the theatre and forget the world outside.