Director: Mike Nichols
Cast: Jude Law, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts
Synopsis (Rotten Tomatoes): Set in contemporary London, a story of passion, drama, love, and abandonment involving four strangers – their chance meetings, instant attractions and casual betrayals.
Synopsis (my version): This film is about lies. The lies we tell each other, and the lies we tell ourselves. It’s about being with somebody, while wanting someone else. I absolutely love this movie. It is brutal, direct, sexy, and stunning all at once.
Also, Natalie Portman is so stupidly phenomenal in this film. Everyone is, really. But she is one of my favorite actresses, and she is on top of her game here.
･ ･ ･ SPOILER ALERT ･ ･ ･
The story is this.
Ineffectual writer Dan (Jude Law) stumbles across enigmatic Alice (Natalie Portman), an enticing waitress. They become involved, but Alice’s insecurities slowly make Dan more distant.
Dan stumbles across Anna (Julia Roberts), a successful and detached photographer. Anna is the complete opposite of Alice – for many reasons, of course, but the primary one is that she doesn’t need Dan. Naturally, Dan is infatuated. But! Anna rejects Dan, and Dan continues to stay with Alice.
Dan resents Anna, but is still in love with her, and so as a prank, he poses as Anna in an online adult chatroom and sets up a real-life meeting with Larry (Clive Owen), a crass, hopelessly blunt doctor. When real-life Anna and Larry meet, they hit it off, despite their strange ‘meet-cute’.
So, Dan and Alice are still together, but they are slowly tearing apart because of Alice’s neediness and Dan’s obsession with Anna. Anna and Larry are still together, but Anna finds herself drawn to the more tender ways of Dan’s puppy love. Larry finds out, finds Alice (who is now a pink-haired stripper), and tries to nurse his hurt over Anna.
Then, it’s done. Everybody hurts, but life ends up moving on.