Movies: Pretty Witty

The Coen brothers go Hollywood in high style

Here's an anomaly: a comedy about smart people. Joel and Ethan Coen, having made a film whose title (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) was taken from a Preston Sturges movie, now launch a full, fond invasion of Sturges territory. In the tradition of The Lady Eve and The Palm Beach Story, this is a farce with chic repartee, devious twists and a cheerfully sardonic take on the human need for greed. Intolerable Cruelty sends moviegoers back to the '40s, when pretty people said witty things. It's the brothers' brightest, most accessible jape.

The script, by the Coens, John Romano, Robert...

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