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Alfie (2004) Movie Review

Cast

Alfie              Jude Law
Julie               Marisa Tomei
Liz                 Susan Sarandon
Nikki             Sienna Miller
Marlon          Omar Epps
Lonette          Nia Long

Rated R for sexual content, some language and drug use.

Meet Alfie Elkins. He's cute and very sexy.  His approach to women is loathsome.  In fact, you may experience some nausea as Alfie narrates the inner workings of his mind as he moves through his day. Especially if you're a woman. Jude Law, in all of his coy, irresistible sexiness is the perfect Alfie. His appeal just isn't quite enough to overcome the nausea, though.

Alfie is an English limosine driver, working in New York City. It's a sort of mobile bedroom for Alfie, and he takes advantage of it, and a specific married client every Tuesday night.  He doesn't really have any goals beyond wine and women, he admits. Hedonism is apparently enough for this sadly empty human being.

In between his dalliances, he has a "girlfriend", Julie.  One of Alfie's saving qualities is his tenderness toward Julie's young son, Max. He manages to throw that all away, albeit unintentionally, by throwing away another woman's panties in Julie's trash can.

Christmas is coming, though. Even Alfie isn't immune to the single-at-Christmas blues. He lands himself in a live-in relationship with Nikki (Sienna Miller) - an alcoholic, chain-smoking, intermittently medicated woman with manic tendencies.  He multi-tasks again, with a side relationship involving Liz, an older woman, quite possibly Alfie's soul mate.

Alfie seems to betray just about everybody close to him, but this pain eventually sparks a bit of humanity within him. The nausea fades for a time.

There are times you'll expect the plot to deliver a predictable and easy turn, but it doesn't. The director will take you to places in relationships you're sure you won't be able to stomach, and then the writing surprises you.

In the end, I found an unexpected compassion for Alfie.  I despised him for three quarters of the film.  If you're willing to put yourself through all of that, or if you just like to see Jude Law being sexy, you may want to see this movie.

I enjoyed the music. Lots of Mick Jagger, some Joss Stone, Beach Boys, and a Sonny Bono song, which didn't make the CD.

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