For Alfie (Jude Law), life was about enjoying everything women could offer - one night at a time. From wealthy widows with a taste for younger men (Susan Sarandon) to his single-mom girlfriend (Marisa Tomei), Alfie had it all... and wasn't looking for anything more.
But when the consequences of his playboy lifestyle suddenly affect the women in his life and his best friend (Omar Epps), Alfie begins to wonder if there is more to life than these fleeting romances. And if so, what's it all about?
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Well-dressed self-confessed fashion whore Alfie slips into a Gucci shirt, ties his lace-up Pradas and splashes on expensive cologne. He's light on his feet and light on commitment. A natural charmer, a London-born scoundrel, living in Manhattan where all woman are available and conveyor-belt perfect. Alfie's as happy as a puppy with two tails, chalking up more romantic relationships than most men can remember. He's Mr Full Service, a limo-driver and a love-machine. Although audiences might feel that he is all too familiar, Jude Law takes ownership of the role, infusing his character with real charm and verve. It's a performance made even more impressive, not only by Law's feature-length deliverance of first-person, straight-to-camera stream-of-consciousness narration, but by the fact that he appears in virtually every frame. Convincing with admirable assurance from happy carefree philanderer to distraught and tortured loser, he is nothing less than magnificent. Director of photography Ashley Pope effectively mirrors Alfie's moods with his cinematic palette. Warm reds, oranges and yellows fade to washed-out blues and muted greens, as the Alfie's character arc moves along, while soulful jazz underscores both moments of levity and pain. Charles Shyer's snappy direction keeps the tone fairly light, whilst standout moments include Law's Singing In The Rain-esque puddle-splash and Alfie's divine meeting mid-movie - delightfully represented by a stroll along a quiet beach with a wise old friend. While the subtle placement of words, such as "search," "wish" and "desire," into the subtext of the film have highlighted key plot elements, the introspective tagline - "What's it all about?"- remains, at least partially, unanswered. Shyer flirts with a downbeat ending, but when Law flashes that perfect smile we know he'll always bounce back.
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