Tag Archives: Michelle Pfeiffer

Lazy Sunday Movies: Legal Complications (1997)

Recently I’ve hit a brick wall trying to write something for the October Birthdayz Blogathon. Since my Cactus Flower review/essay/mash-up keeps running into the “delete” button, it seemed like a good idea to make a cup of tea, put my feet up and dream of a riotous remake of Robert Redford’s remake of Adam’s RibLegal Complications is the perfect Sunday afternoon film; an old-fashioned romantic comedy/thriller, with the right names attached, in front of and behind the camera. George Clooney plays Jack Bonner, an assistant D.A. who gets dragged into a web of intrigue, spun by defense attorney Laura Klein (Michelle Pfeiffer) and her Bohemian graphic-artist client Maggie Hoffman (Meg Ryan).Maggie, the daughter of a famous painter, witnessed her father’s death when she was a child, now she stands accused of stealing one of his paintings from an art dealer played by Jack Nicholson. When the art dealer winds up dead, Bonner and Klein resolve to join forces to solve the mystery and exonerate Maggie.This movie was co-written and directed by Ivan Reitman, of Ghostbusters fame, and the tone is wildly inconsistent. Be prepared for inexplicable transitions from black and white to colour, as well as a veritable smorgasbord of split-screens, shootouts, car chases, steamy kisses, opening statements and closing statements. All building to a cliff-hanging finalé atop the Empire State Building.Meg Ryan, reveling in her status as the romantic movies’ go-to girl was the obvious choice to pair with Clooney for a more sophisticated form of comedy, with resonances of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in Adam’s Rib. On paper they must have seemed like a couple straight from central casting heaven, but George struggles to light a fire under America’s SweetheartClooney seems far more compatible with Michelle Pfeiffer, who is bizarrely cast as a lovelorn legal eagle, and the short side of this isosceles love triangle. Michelle who is too talented, too intelligent and too radiant to play second fiddle to Ryan for even a moment, makes funny and sexy seem like the same thing.Everything about her seems shampoo enriched, although for some reason she seems strangely insecure with regard to securing Clooney’s affections. Sure, Ryan’s character is blonde and bodacious, but she’s also insane and possibly homicidal, so surely that would make her less not more attractive.Legal Complications features Clooney at his most rakish. Michelle at the height of her beauty and Meg Ryan doing…well, her patented Meg Ryan scthik. Just don’t try to find it on Netflix, Legal Complications exists only in my imagination.

This post was inspired by Ivan Reitman (born 27/10/1946)

 

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