Last night I gave an attaboy to amctv’s Bilge Ebiri for noting that Up In The Air is Intolerable Cruelty and vice versa. This morning N.Y. Film Festival honcho (and departing L.A. Weekly critic) Scott Foundas reminded that L.A. Weekly critic Robert Willonsky said the same thing on 12.2.
“Not sure I agree on how ‘big’ Bilge Ebiri’s discovery is vis-a-vis Up in the Air and Intolerable Cruelty,” Foundas writes, “but I know for sure he wasn’t the first one to make it.”
“There is something oddly familiar about Jason Reitman‘s Up in the Air,” Willonsky wrote, “in which George Clooney plays a commitment-phobic business traveler with no use for meaningful human interaction. Could have sworn we’ve been here before. When was it? And where? Oh, yes, of course: Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Intolerable Cruelty, released in the fall of 2003 and forgotten by that year’s first freeze.
“The screwball comedy with a dizzying topspin featured Clooney as Miles Massey, the divorce lawyer who was the love of his own life, till she came along — Catherine Zeta-Jones, that Cinemascope devil in a red dress, who convinced the heartless Miles he had, gulp, soul. Which is why, just as he was set to deliver The Big Speech to a roomful of attorneys about how to gut unhappy couples, Miles stepped up to the microphone, tore up his prepared remarks, and decided, instead, to speak ‘from the heart.’ Poor bastard never knew what hit him.”