The Family Man
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Almost 13 years ago, a ruthless businessman (Cage) gets on a plane headed for London and leaves his girlfriend (Leoni) behind. He goes on to fame and fortune, but never reconnects with his old lover. That is until one fateful Christmas Eve on which a mysterious stranger (Cheadle) gives him the chance of becoming the man he could've been. Our businessman suddenly ends up with the whole package, the kids, the wife and life in middle class suburbia.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This is an enjoyable little family movie that will definitely entertain children and adults of all ages. The tandem duo of Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni play extremely well off each other here and project an entirely believable romance throughout. Cage, basically playing two characters, the good natured daddy and cutthroat venture capitalist, projects both of them with ease and is a pleasure to watch on screen. The story itself is something everyone can relate to, in that we've all had to make tough decisions in our lives only to second guess them at some point or another. Watching our hero stumble through his new life and get adjusted to his family makes for fun viewing and provides just the right touches of humor and drama. While the story reeks of holiday themed schlock (think IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE or SCROOGE), it definitely does enough to send audiences home happy. While I would've like a little more in terms of an actual conclusion, the movie manages to do well on every other level.
"Spotlight on Location" registers as your typical 20 minute glossy behind-the-scenes making of documentary, with cast and crew interviews spliced in with footage from the movie. It was cool learning how director Ratner (Of RUSH HOUR fame) had to basically beg to get the director's chair for this movie. Next is no less than 9 deleted scenes which while in semi-rough form, run a little over 13 minutes. They're all worth a look and shed new light on many parts of the flick, including one which features a surprise cameo from Paul Sorvino as a potential tire buyer.
Six outtakes (running a total of about 9 minutes) are also included and definitely worth checking out, with Nic Cage hamming things up between takes. "Hi Jack Montage" is a 40 second montage of people saying hello to Cage's character from the movie. Uhhh, yeah…next! They also managed to throw in a brief alternate version of the movie's opening scene, with a different musical score. "Choose Your Fate" is a short quiz which runs parallel to the movie's theme of getting your priorities in order and determining whether or not you're "family material". Seal's music video for "This Could Be Heaven", theatrical trailer and production notes finish up the added supplements. The disc's main menus are animated with sound.
This one comes in as a very solid release from start to finish. From the audience pleasing and heartwarming story to the extensive array of bonuses, you can't really go wrong here.