This remake of Michael
Caine’s career-making 1966 film attracted a lot of attention. Eagerly anticipated yet
often panned by fans of the original film, Alfie is one that you either get…or you
don’t. That’s all there is to it.
Jude Law stars as Alfie, a womanizing
playboy who’s into “wine, women, and…well, that’s about it.” Whatever (or, more
accurately, whomever) Alfie wants, Alfie gets. Then he loves ‘em and leaves ‘em.
Once they get “too close,” Alfie’s out of their lives forever—without a second thought
and without the slightest bit of remorse.
But things start to change for
Alfie. For the first time ever, he’s turned down by his “old standby”—single mom Julie
(Marisa Tomei), who’s finally had enough. Then he’s made aware of a possibly serious
health issue, and the dominoes start to fall. Relationships just don’t go the way Alfie
expects them to go—and he begins to realize that it’s time to make some changes in his
I think the biggest problem that most people have with this movie is
that it’s not what they expect. Fans of the original movie expect it to be more like the
original (which—be honest—is never really how remakes work). And everyone else just
expects it to be a romantic comedy. While there may be some laughs and a little bit of
some mutated form of “romance,” Alfie definitely isn’t your typical romantic
comedy. It’s not especially exciting or fast-paced, and there’s not all that much
action. Mostly, it’s just one guy who spends a couple of hours interacting with the
audience, talking about his life. So some viewers—those who are looking for light,
fluffy comedy and adventure—will be disappointed.
Alfie also isn’t
necessarily a comfortable movie. It may be uncomfortable for some guys who may
see a little bit of Alfie in themselves. And it may be a bit uncomfortable for some
girls who have known a few too many Alfies in their day (and really…who hasn’t?). But
the underlying message is a strong one—one that viewers who get it will
appreciate. (And not only that, but those women who’ve collided with their share of
Alfie-types will feel satisfied in the end.)
If you love Jude Law, you’ll
want to go out and buy this one right away, since it’s pretty much The Jude Law Show—and
he plays it well. For the rest of you, it may not be what you expect—I know it
definitely wasn’t what I expected—but don’t write off Alfie too quickly.
It may not be your typical Hollywood flick, but if you give it a chance, it’s worth your