**/**** Image B- Sound A- Extras C-
starring Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Parker Posey, Michael Sheen
screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna and Robert Harling
directed by Peter Howitt
by Walter Chaw Utterly mediocre and hence better than most of the romantic comedies cranked out by the Hollywood schmaltz factory these days, Peter Howitt's Adam's Rib throwback Laws of Attraction has the over-polished sheen of an apple waxed and stroked so many times that it's more aesthetically impressive than palatable. The film bears a Sandra Bullock/Julia Roberts checklist for a screenplay, with blacked-out boxes next to: meet-cute (she sticks a pencil in his ear); two musical montages (one happy, one sad); a celebration of bad behaviour (binge-drinking); fetishizing of one metaphor-laden item (broken leprechaun figurine); baguette sticking out of a grocery bag; betrayal of half-hearted feminist tenets by making heroine bedazzled by jewellery and men; betrayal of female gender by having model-perfect heroine have the "earthy" habit of binge-eating and not vomiting; quirky elderly/gay/parental comic relief figure; a scene where heroine falls down; a scene where hero does/admits to bad thing; travel/architectural pornography; and temporary break-up leading to nauseating epilogue. Yep, Laws of Attraction is pounded earth complete with a tiresomely whimsical score by Ed Shearmur, opening titles lifted from "Dynasty", and a streak of potential subversion so neutered that it's completely childlike.