Alfie [1966]

Jude Law's Alfie, much like Michael Caine's Alfie in the 1966 original, is what you'd call an unrepentant womanizer. He beds 'em but never weds 'em, and New York provides ample opportunity to continue the process--until reality slaps him in the face. Because Jude Law is, well, Jude Law, you can see why he gets away with it as long as he does, and the actor also pulls off the usually awkward trick of narrating directly to the camera. Neither his Alfie, however, nor director Charles Shyer's remake emerges completely without scratches. Law has a Chesire Cat carnality, but he emanates too much intellect to buy him as the relatively dim bulb he's supposed to be. The film, meanwhile, is a bit soft around the edges; the whole thing would have more resonance if it wasn't quite so intent on watching the unrepentant repent. Regardless, it's a surprisingly thoughtful diversion, and there's fine work from Marisa Tomei, Nia Long, and Susan Sarandon as the women who understandably make Alfie reconsider his ways.--Steve Wiecking

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