All right, there is something, something about this movie that "hits me in the gut level" as that Woody Allen character would say (Annie Hall, 1977). But I had to watch it once again to make sure what it is.
Well, sure it looks like and in many ways it is just another Hollywood movie about a incredibly handsome and charming guy who gets all the ladies (just like Machete) and that once finds love and tries to changes his life style. But what is it?
First of all, despite the fact that I despise every single Charles Shyer movie I know, this one has one good thing: it deals well with it's subject. For example: the colors, the transition frames (all the frames, actually: the cinematography stays somewhere between the artistic and the industrial product), the metaliguistic touch of Alfie talking to the crowd here and there... All this things are not really common in Hollywood. Of course it isn't original. At all. But its something.
But the main reason that makes this movie kind of special to me is the screenplay. Although I do think that end is simply stupid (at least in the way this movie makes it, I'll explain later), the conflicts in Alfie's patch are incredibly well crafted if you compare them to stories like "Dear John" which I would classify as the perfect example of how the "cultural industry" is different from the real art. And, just for the record, I'm not exactly a follower of the Frankfurt School at all, I just like some concepts from Adorno.
I like how, for example, the places Alfie walks by has words that express some feelings that belong not exactly or particularly to Alfie but to the story in general, like the coffee house Desire or the word "Wish" in the wall. Also, I declare myself guilty but I do enjoy Judie Law's work in this film (also in "Closer", but never mid).
But of course a movie like this couldn't be all perfect. The end, judging but what I saw in this film had many possibilities. One of them, would Alfie finally facing his problems (which Shyer may have tried bringing that blonde one but it didn't really work) and finding some kind of solution. This would work for a bad movie. Well, Alfie could also end up with Julie. Because, you know, he loves her and this would be cute. But this would be another bad movie because a woman like that doesn't simply waits for a guy like Alfie for the whole life. Actually, they do. In bad movies. Finally, Alfie could expose his problems honestly and throw a moral lesson on you. As he actually did. But this is exactly what I hate about this movie. Moral lessons in movies are O.K. but if they are stored in some disguised place that makes us understand it without actually see it. Otherwise the movie is just your father telling you how to live your life.
Under all charges, actually, I declare myself guilty for I feel genuine pleasure watching this film. I have never watched the first one (someday I certainly will) and I never watched the original play; therefore I met this interesting story by watching Shyer's movie and my very personal connection with Alfie's problems and by the way they are described is that little thing that bounds me to this movie. (Not that I am some kind of womanizer but problems with woman are there for every single man who finds at least one woman in his life). Anyway, let him who does not likes a single bad movie throw the first stone. I accept my sentence.