Love the Hard Way
June 6, 2003
Writer/director Peter Sehr, along with his writing partner Marie Noelle, bring us this tale of comedy and tragedy combined into one film. Their script is based on a novel by Chinese writer Wang Shuo.
Jack (Adrien Brody) and Claire (Charlotte Ayanna) are the main characters in this tale of new (and eventually destructive) love. Jack is a small-time con man trying to work his way up and make a name for himself in the criminal underworld. Jack and his crew, which includes out-of-work actresses portraying hookers and a shady hotel clerk, bilks unsuspecting victims out of money, jewelry, and electronics - most anything where they can make a profit. But he does have a softer side. He sneaks off to a public storage unit where he can follow his real passions - writing pulp fiction and an interest in rare books.
Claire, an Ivy League biology student, takes an interest in Jack and tries to set him on the straight and narrow. Over and over, Jack promises Claire that he will stop sleeping around with women and his life of petty crimes. But he always returns to his old ways. Soon, these broken promises take a toll on Claire and her studies. She ends up helping Jack with his crimes and even does worse things on her own.
This movie was filmed shortly before The Pianist, where Brody had his Academy Award-winning performance, and has won him some more acclaim at film festivals worldwide. Some reviews have been critical of the lack of flow between the tragic and comedic parts of the film. But there have been some positive reviews as well. It's time, once again, for you to see the film and make up your own mind. (Marty Doskins/BOP)