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Film / Laws of Attraction

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Laws of Attraction is a 2004 Romantic Comedy film directed by Peter Howitt, starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore as top divorce attorneys who go head-to-head in some of the most high-profile divorce cases in the country. Along the way much Belligerent Sexual Tension is had, a bit of Slap-Slap-Kiss ensues, and an Accidental Marriage becomes a real one.

Okay, to be more precise:

Audrey Woods (Moore) is the best divorce attorney in the state of New York. She knows it. The rest of the New York bar knows it. And the high-profile celebs and athletes who want a divorce this week most definitely know it.

Enter Daniel Rafferty (Brosnan), a Bunny-Ears Lawyer who has just come back from California to resume practicing in New York, whereupon he makes his office above a little food shop in Chinatown. He rubs Audrey in all the wrong ways... except, of course, when he's rubbing her in all the right ones.

Time and time again they find themselves as opposing counsel in high-profile divorce cases, until one case requires them to go to Ireland together to evaluate the couple's castle and see who gets it in the settlement. While they're there they attend a local festival and get smashing drunk, whereupon they get married.

Once back in the States, they decide to make a go of the whole marriage thing – in order to keep up appearances, you know, and it goes along fairly swimmingly... until Daniel drags their personal life into their professional one and brings up something he shouldn't have known in the middle of the case, where the whole thing falls apart.

Will Daniel and Audrey make up? Can she ever forgive him? Will they actually get married, since that festival marriage wasn't legal after all?

What do you think?

While not particularly memorable, it's a cute little comedy, and Brosnan and Moore are seasoned enough actors to make it believable.

These tropes are employed:

  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Arguably the entire point of the film.
  • Beta Couple: Thorne and Serena.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Daniel Rafferty. When we first meet him, he's scruffy, disheveled, and sleeping in the courtroom moments before the trial; his office is an utter mess located above a Chinatown supermarket and he has a penchant for Courtroom Antics and psychological warfare. Yet, within minutes of this unimpressive meeting, he wipes the floor with Audrey, and it's soon learned that he's never lost a case. He also manages to be extremely well respected in his field to the point of not only being invited to prestigious law society dinners, but also managing to convince the head to invite Audrey as well.
  • The Fashionista: Serena (a fashion designer), but also Audrey's mother.
  • Fiery Redhead: Audrey looks controlled and organized, but when you cross her things get ugly.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Thorne.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Daniel and Audrey
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Brosnan, as per usual these days.
  • Oireland
  • Race for Your Love: Audrey dashes to the airport to catch up with the departing Daniel. . .only to be too late.
  • Running Gag: the SnoBalls, very alcoholic drinks served in shot glasses, Audrey's mother's insistence that Audrey not refer to her as her mother in public.
  • Scenery Porn: Ireland is very, very pretty. The filmmakers want you to know it. Not to mention New York City, where the rest of the film is set.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss. Not just Audrey and Daniel, but also Beta Couple Thorne and Serena.
  • Tsundere: Audrey. Serena is a more cartoon version of this trope.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Audrey (uptight) and Daniel (wild).