ALFIE (Charles Shyer, 2004)
Jude Law stars in the remake of ALFIE thirty-eight years after Michael Caine played the title role of the unrepentant womanizer. Alfie drives a limousine for a living, but he’s more accomplished at and more interested in steering women into bed. Alfie wants freedom and a variety of women rather than a long-term relationship, but he reaches a point where he is forced to reexamine his way of life.
If ever there was someone born to be a movie star, Jude Law has to be it. His timeless good looks and effortless charisma make him the kind of leading man that Hollywood would produce from genetic experiments if they could. Law’s ability to charm us while we disapprove of Alfie’s actions is his greatest strength. Alfie directly addresses the audience throughout the film. This tactic could have been a tired gimmick, but instead it endears us to him. We become part of his very small circle of friends. Even if we question his decisions, there’s a thrill in seeing what’s it like to be a ladykiller of his caliber. Director Charles Shyer doesn’t judge Alfie or reform him. Rather, he depicts him warts and all to discover what’s beautiful and sad about his life.
(Review first aired on the November 9, 2004 NOW PLAYING)