Dumb holiday movie to make a lot of money.
The holidays have arrived as they do
every year. When I hear the word Christmas, I think Oscar time and large
budgeted mediocrity. The top notch films of the year are being released on 2
screens to generate word of mouth while millions of people pack in to the 3000
screens serving up what the studios have dubbed there feel-good movies of the
year. There's a reason why this time of year has the highest suicide rates, and
it's not always credit card bills. I'm sure every year we lose a few more
critics who decide to end their own life rather than sift through and review 25
worthless movies being released on one day in December. Family
Man is no Oscar film.
Being that it is the holidays, I will
try and highlight the good points of the movie and not over scrutinize the
blatantly obvious inherent problems with the movie. In this sort of modern day
rehash of It's a Wonderful Life, Nicholas Cage plays wall street
power broker Jack Campbell, a man who thinks he has it all. Then all of a
sudden, one Christmas Day, he is transported to an alternate reality in which he
is no longer a solitary millionaire but rather a tire salesman from New Jersey
making 5 digits.
He is put on this journey by an
angelical figure played masterfully by one of the modern day masters of the
supporting role, Don Cheadle. He's not in enough scenes to make this movie good
but all the scenes he's in belong to him. The movie also features another scene
stealer, the hilarious Jeremy Piven from PCU, one of those under
appreciated masterpieces, and Grosse Pointe Blank.
In this alternate universe, Jack gave up
Wall Street to marry his college sweetheart played by Tea Leoni. Tea is
excellent as the stunning, quick-witted housewife and bearer of Jack's multiple
children. The story gets more contrived. Lovey dovey stuff takes the forefront
to assist in this film's addition into the romantic comedy trash heap. The usual
problems take place. You know the
Nicholas Cage is funny, I guess. He's an
OK actor. He can be a great comedic actor, Raising Arizona, or
awful, Trapped in Paradise or It Could Happen to You.
I don't have anything against him, he can be great at times but for every good
performance he puts in there seems to be three bad ones. Last year, he put in a
Oscar worthy performance as a deeply disturbed medic in New York City in Bringing
Out The Dead.
Family Man's a good time
filler. It has some funny lines, and some flashy cars but like a fickle three
year old, you'll get tired of it very quickly. The film also gets special
recognition for giving New Jersey a proper bashing. But this film is just dead
from the beginning. Nothing new to
introduce, the movie tries to stand on it's entertainment value alone.
It's expectedly predictable and mildly entertaining but that doesn't
merit my recommendation. If there
were nothing else to see this holiday season, I'd still wait 3 months and watch
this on video.
Rating: 2 out of 4 Stars