It's a lie. It's a bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully, and... all the glittering assholes who appreciate art say it's beautiful 'cause that's what they wanna see. But the people in the photos are sad, and alone... But the pictures make the world seem beautiful, so... the exhibition is reassuring which makes it a lie, and everyone loves a big fat lie.
is a 2004 film — based on a 1997 play by English playwright Patrick Marber — starring Natalie Portman
as Alice, Jude Law as Dan, Clive Owen as Larry, and Julia Roberts
as Anna. Its most famous scene is arguably the one where Natalie Portman is a pink wigged stripper. Basically, it's a romantic drama set in contemporary London about two opposing sets of couples: Dan and Alice, and Larry and Anna, and their infidelities and heartbreak in a classic love square. It's better than it sounds.
This film exhibits examples of:
- Adaptation Distillation: Patrick Marber wrote the screenplay based on his own play, trimming off a lot of the fat in the process. Pity about the ending though...
- A Good Name for a Song: Panic! at the Disco and Fall Out Boy both took inspiration from the film: The songs "Lying is the Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" and "But It's Better if You Do" form a quote from the aforementioned stripping scene. The line "He tastes like you, only sweeter" in "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs" is, in the film, Anna's response to Larry's question of what Dan's ejaculate tastes like. The line "I love everything about you that hurts" in G.I.N.A.S.F.S is taken from the aforementioned pink wigged stripper scene.
- Betty and Veronica: Both men have the choice between the wise, steady photographer Anna and the vivacious, flirtatious 'waif' Alice.
- Then it's flipped around in that Anna is the one who can't remain faithful to either of her lovers, while Alice is committed to Dan.
- Between My Legs: In Alice's scene in the club, while she's putting on her outfit.
- Bittersweet Ending: Heavy on the bitter. Dan and Alice break off their relationship and she's been lying about her name the entire time, Anna is still unhappily married to Larry, and Alice returns to New York alone but free of the relationship drama.
- Book Ends: the movie opens with Alice walking down a London street to "The Blower's Daughter", and ends with her walking through New York's Times Square at the end.
- Brutal Honesty: Everyone at one point or another, but Larry almost all the time.
- Country Matters: Larry plainly and forwardly asks Alice what her cunt tastes like. She replies "heaven". The word is also occasionally tossed around as an insult.
- Crapsack World: Everyone in this movie has varying levels of unhappiness with their love life (and for Dan and Alice, professionally, as well), and ends with an uneasy closure on that same note.
- Deadpan Snarker: Everyone, pretty much. It's that kind of script.
- Downer Ending: The original play's ending. Alice dies.
- Empathetic Environment: Dreary, gray London seems to coincide with most of the character's situations. In particular, the pouring rain when Dan shows up at Larry's office to tearfully beg him to let Anna come back to him. And bright, sunny New York mirroring Alice's fresh start.
- Fanservice: The strip club scene.
- G.I.R.L.: The spark that sets Larry and Anna's relationship is Dan masquerading as Anna in a cybersex chat room.
- Hypocrite: Dan, in spades. First, he's stunned to learn that Anna slept with Larry again. Apparently it's okay for Anna to cheat with him, but not on him. He can't get over it and it's implied that this contributed to Anna leaving him. Then, he's equally floored when Larry reveals that he and Alice slept together and can't get over that either, causing their reconciliation to fail. This after breaking Alice's heart by emotionally cheating on her for a year (during which he was essentially stalking Anna), physically cheating on her for another year, and only getting back together with her after Anna dumped him (meaning she's clearly nothing more than second-best) but he can't accept that she slept with someone else (Anna's cuckolded husband, no less) during a time when they were not together.
- Jerk Ass:The four main characters have all their moments of jerkassery, particularly Larry. on the other side, Alice/Jane has a couple of Jerk with a Heart of Gold moments.
- Informed Attractiveness: Alice's final scene, in which nearly every man she passes as walks down the street is awestruck at the sight of her.
- Informed attractiveness? Alice is played by Natalie Portman, and the final scene depicts her in figure hugging white shirt. YMMV on how 'Informed' the viewer needs to be.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Alice, real name Jane Jones takes her name after a person commemorated in real life in Postman's Park.
- Love Makes You Crazy: And evil, and bloody stupid...
"Have you ever seen the human heart? It looks like a fist soaked in blood."
- Love Triangle: Repeatedly.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Alice tries very hard to be one of these.
- May-December Romance: Larry and Alice.
Larry: Oh Christ...when I was in flares, you were in nappies.
- Only Sane Man: Anna, most of the time. Alice also—she has enough common sense to leave Dan the minute he admits to his infidelity, rebuffing his lame excuses, to reject Larry (initially), knowing full well that they'd only be seeking a pointless revenge against their cheating exes, to dump Dan for good when she realizes their reconciliation won't work, and to finally go home to escape the crazy, unhappy situation and make a fresh start.
- Scarpia Ultimatum: Larry demands sex from Anna in exchange for signing their divorce papers.
- Stalking Is Love: Dan tries this with Anna, for a whole year. It works.
- Your Cheating Heart: And how. Out of the four characters, Alice is the only one who neither cheats on nor with anyone (Larry is separated from Anna by the time he and Alice sleep together).