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Closer (2004)

Cast: Julia Roberts, Julia Roberts, Jude Law, more...
Director: Mike Nichols, Mike Nichols
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Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Drama, Erotica
Running Time: 104 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
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Patrick Marber's acclaimed stage drama about the romantic interactions of four people has been given a reverent screen adaptation by director and producer Mike Nichols. Dan (Jude Law) is a writer in London who wants to finish a novel, but in the meantime supports himself by writing obituaries. One day he chances upon Alice (Natalie Portman), a beautiful young American expatriate, working as a stripper, when he sees her get hit by a car. Alice immediately falls for Dan, and gives him her love without reservation. Dan is initially enchanted with Alice, and returns her affection, but while she inspires him to write his novel (based on her life), her neediness begins to wear on him. Anna (Julia Roberts) is a photographer who is hired to take a portrait of Dan for the dust jacket of his book; Dan is attracted to her easy confidence, and while the two of them flirt, Anna soon (inadvertently through Dan's playful machinations) meets Larry (Clive Owen), a dermatologist, and marries him. Dan can't get Anna out of his mind even though she's married, and the two become lovers, but Dan is frustrated by the fact that Anna is reluctant to leave Larry for him. Patrick Marber wrote the screenplay for this adaptation of Closer; it was the playwright's first feature-film credit. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Close, but no Cigar by talltale March 27, 2005 - 10:22 AM PST
7 out of 8 members found this review helpful
You'll find it hard to fault the performances of Clive Owen, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and even Julia Roberts; ditto the direction of Mike Nichols. It's the writing from Patrick Marber that finally sinks this movie version of his play CLOSER. Not that Marber's dialog, moment to moment, isn't often very good. Overall, though, he can't disguise the utter shallowness of his characters, whose behavior will have you rubbing your head and moaning "Huh?" from time to time.

Amazingly, Nichols has managed to eradicate any lingering sense that this project might once have been a play--even though almost no one but the four leads has any dialog. (Check out the cast in the end credit-roll: I believe there are only six names mentioned!). While almost any attempt to capture the "way we live now" is risky--and not simply because some cooler-than-thou twit is bound to render the it's-so-ten-minutes-ago judgment--CLOSER's biggest problem is saddling us with characters who, try as we might (and god knows the actors do, too), are not worth much of anybody's time.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.45)
189 Votes
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