Alfie remake provides life lessons

Melissa Dunson

He smokes too much, drinks too much and is a self-proclaimed womanizer, but somehow you can’t bring yourself to hate him – that devilish smile is your undoing.Jude Law is brilliant and positively delicious as Alfie, the hedonistic, happy-go-lucky European who moves to Manhattan to pursue his two great passions – “wine and women.” Although, he points out, women and women is always an appealing option too. In Alfie, director Charles Shyler recreates the controversial 1966 movie starring Michael Caine based on the original play by Bill Naughton.The story focuses on Alfie as he explains, through the clever use of monologue, his theories, tactics and experience with women. Through a series of phenomenally bad decisions and sobering incidences, Alfie is forced to grow up and realize he can’t continue living the same way he did when he was 20 years old, and he most certainly can’t keep treating people the way he has.The movie and its characters are dynamic and the movie is definitely intraspective. As far as genres, it is hard to label, it’s a funny, romantic, coming-of-maturity drama of sorts that will make you laugh, cry and everything in between. Because the movie is based on a play, at least half of the film is a narration of sorts, a dialogue between Alfie and the audience. This element helps you forgive Alfie for his many stupid mistakes, phenomenally bad decisions and the indiscretions with an endless stream of beautiful but insufficient women.The film will make you want to analyze your self and all of your relationships and hopefully want to be a better, less shallow person. The movie is realistic in that it doesn’t all end happily ever after. Alfie’s friends don’t offer immediate forgiveness or understanding just because one day Alfie wakes up, finally decides to stop being a jerk and realizes what’s really important. Alfie still has to pay the consequences of his careless behavior and take deliberate steps to heal his relationships. When the credits begin to roll, you’re not even sure everything will be all right or that Alfie will ever really be happy, even though that’s what the audience wants for him. Finally, his devilish smile can’t get him out of everything. Regardless, the movie is redemptive and delightful. Like the original, this film takes a strong, controversial pro-life stance that offers a sobering look at the realities of abortion and how many people are hurt by one decision. It provides the unusual viewpoint of the man in the relationship and how it affects him and also gives some of the hard, but positive alternatives to abortion.The film is rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, alcohol and drug use and some bad language. No one under the age of 18 should see this film because of the strong sexual content and others must make their own choices about whether or not the redemptive quality of the ending is worth the crap you have to put up with to get there.