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Review: Reign Over Me

Reign Over Me
Mar. 23, 2007by:
8 10

A dentist/family man named Alan Johnson has the perfect life: a good job, a beautiful caring wife and two perfect daughters. Consumed with his dental practice and trying to make his wife happy, he begins to withdraw from everyone. Bottom line, he just needs someone to talk to other than his wife. Enter Charlie Fineman, Johnson's ex-college roommate. Charlie has his own demons to battle. His family, including the family dog, all died during the 9/11 attacks. Old buddies re-connecting and some sad tender moments ensue.

I really like a good character driven story and this is one of them. I also love watching comedian actors playing serious roles better than serious actors, and the acting here, was excellent across the board! Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler had great chemistry in terms of a male friendship (strictly platonic!) and the story showed regular life issues and reactions as comedy, and it worked quite well. Everyone should be able to relate to it on one level or another. While there were funny moments, however, there were a lot more "sad moments" where you really feel the pain of the characters. All the while you experience their pain and triumphs, these emotions just draw you more into the story.

Adam Sandler plays Charlie Fineman. This guy was hurting! Imagine one day youre on top of the world and then the next day, everything you ever loved and cared about is gone forever. Just think about that for a second...its hard to imagine how youd feel, but Sandler pulled it off! This was his best non-comedic role to date! You totally feel his tortured past and unless you have been through such a devastating event yourself, it is hard to relate to his pain , but for the most part I believe this was the most accurate depiction of someone experiencing a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I've ever seen. Bravo to Sandler for taking on such a tragic character. He'll get at least a Golden Globe nomination next year! Also, if they ever do a Bob Dylan biopic, give Sandler a call! He looked exactly like him...uncanny.

Don Cheadle plays Alan Johnson, the bored family man who needs to shake things up a little in his life. I think you could give Cheadle any role and he'll hit it out of the ballpark every time and this one is no different. Cheadle quite simply is one of the better actors working in the industry today. He can play badass or he can play the nicest guy in the world and you the viewer will believe it.

The supporting characters also offered some nice surprises. Paula Newsome was hilarious and a great scene stealer as Cheadle's secretary, while Liv Taylor impressed as a young psychiatrist. Donald Sutherland and Jada Pinket Smith also had their moments.

I always see Mike Binder in small roles and I'm like, "Who is this guy?" His characters are usually funny and sleazeballish, although generally likeable. I didn't realize that he was also a director and screenwriter and a good one at that! The last movie I saw of his was THE UPSIDE OF ANGER, a film that also touched on grieving a loved one (it was good too, by the way). His storytelling is great, especially when he can successfully evoke emotions from one extreme to the other. I loved the simple shots of New York which really captured the beauty of what the city has to offer. My only beef with this film was that they dragged Sandler's character out too much and didn't really provide us with enough info early on. They could have cut at least ten minutes from the film and given us a little more meat instead.

This movie isn't going to be breaking any box-office records, but it's a good story with great characters. There's really only one scene that will turn on the water taps and it's do-able! You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll feel good. I've always had a soft spot for friendship movies, especially when they're well made, like this one.

Alpha Dog (4/10)
Blood & Chocolate (4/10)
Breach (5/10)
Catch and Release (5/10)
Deja Vu (6/10)
Eragon (4/10)
Factory Girl (7/10)
Grudge 2 (5/10)
Harsh Times (7/10)
Letters From Iwo Jima (7/10)
Music and Lyrics (6/10)
Norbit (6/10)
The Departed (9/10)
The Good German (7/10)
The Good Shepherd (7/10)
The Prestige (8/10)
The Pursuit of Happyness (6/10)

-- by Tim Goernert

Source: JoBlo.com

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