Intolerable Cruelty

Rated 3.0 An ace divorce attorney (George Clooney) falls for his latest client’s future-ex-wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones)—but it doesn’t keep him from beating her in the courtroom, and she won’t take losing lying down. The latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen is messier than usual—probably because, for a change, they’re working from a story by somebody else (Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone and John Romano, with Ramsey and Stone sharing script credit with the Coens). The story never really takes flight, but the Coens get a few good hops out of it as it bumps down the runway; the look of the film is cotton-candy bright, the dialogue has laugh-out-loud crackle, and the chemistry between Clooney and Zeta-Jones is spicy hot. Also along are Edward Herrmann, Billy Bob Thornton and a strangely under-used Geoffrey Rush.