If nothing else, the Coen brothers are supremely unpreidctrable. I’ve certainly come to recognising that through watching all their films in a row. After the brilliant comedy The Big Lebowski, the charming musical O Brother Where Art Thou, and the cloudy noir The Man Who Wasn’t There, I wasn’t expecting a goofy, low-stakes romantic comedy.
I have absolutely nothing against romantic comedies. I don’t even have anything against bad ones; I used to watch dodgy rom-coms for a laugh all the time, and my enjoyment wasn’t just ironic or anything, there’s plenty to like about the genre. But this one felt too sour to me. I don’t have to like the characters in a film to enjoy it, certainly not, but in a genre like this, it definitely helps. I don’t feel like the intention was to have the viewer feel disengaged and critical of all the characters, but that’s certainly how I felt, and I was skeptical of their arcs all the way through.
Still, two hours watching beautiful people act under the Coens isn’t a terrible way to pass the time.
I give it one pre-nup, and a settlement.