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Closer ★★★ 2004 (R)

Love stinks. Especially in this caustic adaptation by Marber of his 1997 drama. Waifish stripper Alice (Portman) enchants writer Dan (Law) after they meet cute in London. Dan later writes a novel about his life with Alice and indulges in a flirtation with successful photographer Anna (Roberts). Dan then decides to impersonate Anna during an Internet sex chat and arranges to meet dermatologist Larry (a ferocious performance by Owen), who does meet, and eventually marries, the real Anna. Dan has an affair with Anna, which Larry finds out about (in a laceratingly brutal verbal scene), and Larry meets the abandoned Alice without knowing about their secondhand connection. Marber changed Alice's fate from his play and made both female characters American to accommodate his leads. Owen played the role of Dan in the original National Theatre production. 101m/ C DVD, HD DVD . US Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen; D: Mike Nichols; W: Patrick Marber; C: Stephen Goldblatt; M: Steven Patrick Morrissey. British Acad. '04: Support. Actor (Owen); Golden Globes '05: Support. Actor (Owen), Support. Actress (Portman).