"What’s It All About?"
What You Need To Know:
ALFIE is a tragic comic tale about an amiable chap who, nevertheless, hurts the people he cares about the most. The direction by Charles Shyer is solid and creative. Jude Law does a good job filling the shoes of Michael Caine. The new ALFIE movie lacks, however, some of the more funny moments when Alfie has to visit the doctor. It also takes a while to get going and contains stronger foul language and sexual references. The story still packs an emotional punch, however.
(C, B, PaPa, Ab, LL, SS, NN, AA, DD, M) Light redemptive worldview that asks what is the meaning of life and includes a couple scenes during Christmas, with angel images in the background, and moral elements include a pro-life message, positive comments about having a family, and a playboy begins to realize how shallow and meaningless his life has been, with some strong hedonistic pagan elements, and an anti-religious comment; about eight obscenities (including one “f” word), two strong profanities, two light profanities, and men visit urinals; no violence; depicted fornication, implied fornication, talk about impotence and having to have a biopsy on one’s genitals, and pregnant woman considers abortion but ultimately decides against it; upper female nudity, rear female nudity and upper male nudity; alcohol use, drunkenness and one minor character clearly has a problem with alcohol; smoking and marijuana use; and, protagonist is a misogynist who gets his comeuppance.
ALFIE is an American remake of the famous movie that launched the career of Michael Caine in the 1960s. Not quite as successful as the first movie, the new one still packs much of the same emotional punch, especially in its second half.
Although set in New York City, Jude Law still plays Alfie as an Englishman, but without the Cockney accent Michael Caine used. Alfie is a playboy who uses women and throws them away. His hedonistic lifestyle suddenly takes a turn for the worse when one of his favorite women rejects him, he becomes impotent and has to have a biopsy taken, and his one-night fling with his best friend’s ex-girlfriend causes trouble. Eventually, Alfie realizes he’s missing out on something in life, but he still wonders, “What’s it all about?”
Like the earlier movie, ALFIE is a tragic comic tale about an amiable chap who, nevertheless, hurts the people he cares about the most. Alfie’s careless attitude toward other people comes back to haunt him, which makes him re-think the life he’s led. One of the new movie’s most powerful scenes is when Alfie apologizes to his best friend, saying that he never meant to hurt anybody. The friend tells Alfie, however, that that’s all Alfie ever does: hurt people.
Like the original movie, ALFIE leaves it up to the audience to make up its own mind about the purpose and meaning of life. The movie, therefore, provokes a search for meaning, but provides no solutions, other than the emotional bonds that a committed romantic relationship can bring.
The direction by Charles Shyer, one of our favorites, is solid and creative. Jude Law does a good job filling the shoes of Michael Caine. Marisa Tomei, Susan Sarandon, Omar Epps, and Nia Long round out the talented cast.
The new ALFIE movie lacks, however, some of the more funny moments when Alfie has to visit the doctor. It also takes a while to get going and contains stronger foul language and sexual references.