Alfie (Jude Law) is an Englishman in New York, a womanising young man whose philosophy is a well refined lifestyle bible for the swinging bachelor who wants all the advantages - and variety - of female company without the commitment or the responsibility. There's Dorie (Jane Krakowski) and Julie (Marisa Tomei) and Liz (Susan Sarandon), the latter an older woman and a notch up for Alfie. As he trips through his life as a limo chauffeur, he confides in us his innermost thoughts - but not his feelings, which he keeps tightly wrapped. When he spends an evening playing pool with his best friend's girlfriend, Lonette (Nia Long), he crosses the line and the repercussions follow him to the final realisation that he's more of a danger to himself than to his conquests.
Review by Louise Keller:
He is so confident about his masculinity he is unafraid of the colour pink, and likes to splash cologne on the part of his anatomy he calls Big Ben. He is Alfie, that cocky, handsome devil, whose philosophy is women and women. It's been nearly 40 years since Michael Caine showed us 'What's it all about' as the brash, womanising Londoner who spent his life breaking hearts, in what was the role that skyrocketed him to stardom. And while it's hard to replicate the pathos of the original, the very handsome Jude Law makes the remake eminently watchable.
Scriptwriter Bill Naughton has reworked his script from his original 1966 play with a few changes. Although Alfie is still a Londoner, he lives in New York, and works as a limo driver, an occupation that gives him plenty of opportunity to meet the fairer sex. Structured in the same way as the original, the screenplay brings us up close and personal to Alfie, as he confides his every thought to us in brief asides directly to the camera. We are his inner most confidant as he includes us with his disarming smile and cocky gaze. As Alfie tries to work out the meaning of life, he shares with us the fleeting, and frequent encounters he has with women.
There's Marisa Tomei's single mum, who comes with an 8 year old accessory; Jane Krakowski's Dorie who leaves her knickers in Alfie's pocket; Sienna Miller's party girl Nikki; Nia Long's Lonette, who also happens to be his best mate's (Omar Epps) girl. When he meets Susan Sarandon's Liz, she is sitting in the backseat of the limo and their eyes meet in the rear vision mirror. 'Aren't you Mr Full Service?' she retorts, when Alfie comes unannounced into the Chanel shop and gives his approval as Liz is trying on a low-cut, clingy black number.
Alfie's priority remains Alfie, and he treats all his women pretty shoddily. No question, Law will have the girls drooling and the guys will wish they looked just like him. His Alfie is flirtatious, dashing, cheeky and in a word - irresistible. But with less edge than Caine stamped his flawed character. Hence, when Alfie gets his comeuppance, we don't feel for him as much as we would like.
I enjoyed meeting Alfie again. He is used to catching women off guard, and is so surprised when it happens to him. Not surprising, really.
There's plenty more of Alfie on the DVD, with storyboards, featurettes and 8 deleted scenes with optional commentary.
Published May 12, 2005
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ALFIE: DVD (M)
CAST: Jude Law, Jane Krakowski, Marisa Tomei, Omar Epps, Susan Sarandon, Sienna Miller, Nia Long, Gedde Watanabe, Dick Latessa
PRODUCER: Elaine Pope, Charles Shyer
DIRECTOR: Charles Shyer (play by Bill Naughton)
SCRIPT: Elaine Pope, Charles Shyer
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ashley Rowe
EDITOR: Padraic McKinley
MUSIC: Mick Jagger, John Powell
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Sophie Becher
RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes
PRESENTATION: Widescreen enhanced for 16: 9
SPECIAL FEATURES: 8 deleted scenes with optional commentary; 5 featurettes; script, production and storyboard galleries, 2 commentaries
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount
DVD RELEASE: May 19, 2005