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28 Days (2000)
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Review Date: April 10, 2000
Director: Betty Thomas
Writer: Susannah Grant
Producers: Jenno Topping
Actors:
Sandra Bullock
Dominic West
Viggo Mortensen
Plot:
A woman with a penchant for the bottle drives a limousine into the side of a house while intoxicated, and must serve 28 days in a rehabilitation center or go to jail. Her initial indifference to the place and her issue, land her into even more trouble, at which point, she must ultimately decide what she wants out of her own life.
Critique:
A surprisingly emotional and funny picture, which despite its road-much-traveled feel, gives us enough interesting characters and a solid performance from Bullock, to qualify as a solid feel-good dramedy. I don't recommend you see this film if you're expecting to learn something new about the process of rehabilitation, drug or alcohol addiction or the relationships of an addict. But if you don't mind revisiting some of these tendered themes once more in a film which moves at a quick pace, delivers tit-for-tat moments of humor and drama, and ultimately gives you every single 12-step quote needed for anyone to conquer any addiction of life, then grab a couple of six-packs and check yourself into this moving picture. Of course, I've never been shy to admit my own enjoyment of "the beverage" every now and again, but thankfully my even bigger fixation on Internet porn, hasn't allowed either habit to take over my life completely. But enough about me. Harumph!

Sandra Bullock really surprised me in this film. Sure, her character is still pretty cute, does and says cute things, and knows how to party (well, early on in the movie that is... : ), but this movie allowed Sandra to demonstrate a little more of her dramatic range, a talent which up until this film, had personally gone completely unnoticed by moi. Well by golly, she pulled it off something fierce with several decent scenes featuring a serious Sandra wallowing in her troubles that be. Of course, much like any other "institutionalized" movie, the rest of the characters in the film also needed to create a certain amount of interest, if only enough to pad the lead performances. The film delivers on that front as well. The stand-out in the area of humour was definitely the "german gay guy" aka Alan Tyduk, who had the crowd in stitches every time he uttered, or tried to utter, a word in this film. Dramatically, Azura Sky took the honors with a touching portrayal of a girl struggling to overcome her disabling disease, and the best hair, as usual, went to the great Viggo Mortensen. I suspect that most fans of Julia Roberts' ERIN BROCKOVICH (7/10) will enjoy this one as well, seeing as both films feature top-dog actresses at the top of their respective game, an interesting yet predictable story, and as per usual Hollywood style, a generally upbeat ending. Of course, this film also has a lot more humor going for it, but I suppose that's offset by the film's many serious moments as well.

All in all, you don't have to be a drinker to appreciate this flick, but I suppose an affection for Sandy Bullock, an understanding of the subject at hand, and the capacity to embrace a familiar but entertaining theme, should make this one enjoyable for most anyone fitting that bill. Bottom's up!
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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