Alfie

This is a pretty charming re-make of a film that didn’t need re-making. Still, it mostly scores, and Jude Law is fabulous as the titular Alfie, a man who lives for love, or at least for its physical manifestation. The photography is snappy and fun, at its best when it goes into ’60s-style collage mode, and the acting is all top-notch. The soundtrack is nowhere near as good as that of the original, featuring instead of the Sonny Rollins/Oliver Nelson score a bunch of ditties by Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart, that sound like a rip-off of the early ’90s indie rock that ripped off the Rolling Stones. Alfie’s worst fault, though, is that it’s a bit too chipper for its heavy moral to hit home. Director Bill Naughton isn’t exactly known for making sad and deep films, though: He’s the genius behind Smokey and The Bandit and Private Benjamin. So just imagine a light-hearted, comedic look at the life of a man whose moral character prevents him from ever finding true happiness. Like a class-clown employee, it doesn’t quite work, but it neatly distracts you from that fact.

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