Director: Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Working Girl, Regarding Henry, The Birdcage)
Writer: Patrick Marber
Producers: Mike Nichols, Cary Brokaw, John Calley
Starring: Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 104 min
read my spoiler disclaimer

     If people talked to me like they way they talk to each other in "Closer," I think I would kill myself. The film starts as a sweet romantic film, but soon turns to bitterness, cold bluntness and power struggles between two couples. Although I'm not sure that couple is the right word...more like group of four people who say they love each other, then stab each other in the back...harshly. It's a story of lying, cheating, manipulating and revenge.

     One of the most interesting things about this movie is that all four of the characters are the protagonists and all four are the antagonists. Each in their turn goes from seeming like the honorable one to then becoming the victim and then becoming the villain themselves. You canít really admire any of the characters, but you do understand them.

     The real thing this movie has going for it is the acting and dialogue. Clive Owen deservedly received an Oscar nom for this one, and Portman's role is her first really well done character (up until "Garden State" anyway). You won't see Julia Roberts portrayed in any other movie the way she was in Closer either. One critic said, this was "...Roberts the actress, not Roberts the movie star (see Ocean's Twelve if you're craving for the latter), and her dedication to the role rather than glamour serves her well." The dialogue is smart, hip and dirty (so dirty in fact, that I'm sure an NC-17 rating was considered); but very obviously scripted out. You never get the feeling that the characters truly feel they way they do; they are simply acting. Nobody talks as intelligently and witty as these people. Still, it is intense and quick, and you are so engulfed in the raw emotion that everything else becomes irrelevant.

     Even though it's like an over-blown soap opera, it's still a really good movie, not to put too fine a point on it; and although there was no realism to the charcters, movie aren't supposed to be real or necessarily believable, and I was swept up by the emotion and acting. The cast is superb; and although I doubt its sincerity and believability, I did believe in the effort. Get Closer, its dangerous.

The Trailer
IMDb - full cast and crew info