Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith and Liv Tyler star in this heart-rending story about Charlie Fineman (Sandler), who has slipped away from reality after the sudden loss of his wife and children. But Charlie?s ... more »life takes a turn for the better when he runs into his old college roommate Alan Johnson (Cheadle), whose life is torn between the demands of career and family. Their renewed friendship rekindles their long-forgotten bond, and both men emerge enriched and enlightened.« less
This is a real hidden jewel with Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle and others shining in this. Don Cheadle really has a great style to his acting and this movie really brought it out. Sandler will surprise you will his role in this movie. The movie cover artwork does not do justice for this movie making you think it is something that it is not. A must watch!
Andrea S. (asilvey) from ORLANDO, FL Reviewed on 6/7/2010...
A good friend of mine suggested this movie to me and it was awesome! Did not realize just what a great actor Adam Sandler was until this movie.Adam Sandler was so convincing and drew me in! This movie totally captivated me! It had funny parts as well as sad parts. A great movie about true friendship!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Dawn M. from LEESVILLE, LA Reviewed on 9/13/2009...
A widower who lost his family on 9/11 can't seem to get it together, but his friends are determined to try. It was the first serious role I've seen Adam Sandler play and it was a powerful and moving performance. Unaware of the background story,I just happened to watch it on 9/11/09 and realized that for many people-this day is a reminder of loss. But we can't give up hope and happiness and replace it with sadness and fear!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Julie A. Reviewed on 12/12/2007...
Don't think you know what Adam Sandler is capable of until you see this movie! He deserves an award for this portrayal. If you want to know what a true broken heart looks and acts like, watch this movie. People say time heals all wounds, not in Charlie's case. It's been years since his entire family was killed in the 9/11 attacks and in response to not being able to live without them he creates his own reality, where he actually doesn't have to live in the moment, because he can't. It was painful to watch Charlie take one step forward, then two steps back, but you'll still be rooting for him no matter what.
Tho his friend, Alan's, motives are mainly selfish, he still cares deeply for his friend, and stands by him when many others would have walked. He's rewarded by actually coming to see that the reality he's created for his life is also preventing him from living in the moment.
It's brilliant to watch 2 men, with so much in common, exhibit it in such different ways, and walk the same path toward healing. Really lovely and moving film.
6 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
A compelling and compassionate film that also has its humoro
Steven Hedge | Somewhere "East of Eden" | 10/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I found this film to be powerful, I do have some issues with it that may displease Sandler fans.
I will dispense with any film synopsis here as Amazon's review is about as perfect as you can get. It is a must read, so do so. My focus here is my personal take on the film as a former New Yorker who has yet to deal with his own losses from 9/11, and as someone who is not a Adam Sandler fan.
Let me begin with all that is wrong with this film and then go to all that is right and right enough that I highly recommend this film in spite of its flaws. For starters, Adam Sandler is not my favorite actor, dramatic or otherwise. However, I absolutely admired him in Click and thought that kind of comedy/drama was perfect for him and I even thought he should have received a Best Actor nod for that work (but that genre rarely gets properly noticed).
This film, however, IS NOT the kind of drama for Sandler even though I will say he had some very compelling moments and was good overall. The problem I have is that I don't think it was a stretch for him to act childish as a grown man in this film where he felt the need to retreat to a more gentle time. He was simply being Sandler there. His dramatic moments ranged from believable and compelling to silly and over-the-top. He was not consistent. He was simply a distraction to a terrific story that should have been more the focus.
My other issue with this film is the heavy-handed handling of Sandler's psychological problems and overly simplistic dialogue at times, such as, "It hurts me to remember things." Oh, please! I cringe at lines like that in a serious film about mental disorders as it makes the illness seem all too easy to treat and it's not. Besides, no one talks like that. In addition, the film tries too hard to be a comedy/drama with the storyline about the dentist, played by Don Cheadle, who is being sexually harassed by a patient. Hey, I'm not saying it isn't funny; I found it hysterical. I just think it was a poor fit with the dramatic components of this particular story. The comedy/drama genre is always a tough one in which to strike a balance between everyday humor that can be found within a tragic situation. This film, I think, failed to do that effectively.
Okay, enough bashing of this film. Why in the world would I give four stars to a film in which I could write so many negative comments? That's easy, the story itself is compelling and poignant. It speaks volumes for the many survivors of 9/11 who became indirect victims on that day. Many of them have a voice, but have lost it somehow. We ALL lost something that day: many lost friends and loved ones, and others lost a sense of security and others even innocence. The effects of that day continue to ripple out like a boulder thrown into the center of a calm lake. More than just our landscaped changed that day and this film sensitively handles all that I've mentioned in addition to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the value of friendship and compassion.
The performance by Sandler, while distracting and uneven, is good and even very good sporadically in this film. He looks scarily like Bob Dylan here, but that's a side note. He's simply okay enough to carry the role even though I think he was miscast and that this role was a bit beyond him. Don Cheadle, who was robbed of an Oscar for his subtle but powerful performance in Hotel Rwanda, is very good here. He isn't asked to bring any enormous depth to his character, but Cheadle always delivers well whatever he is asked to do. I never miss a film he's in and neither should you. Jada Picket Smith (AKA Mrs. Will Smith) continues to grow as an actress with quiet, but meaningful roles like this one. She has successfully been moving away from those loud, in-your-face roles that plagued her early career.
The direction is confident enough, if not a bit pedestrian at times. The film is delivered much like The Pursuit of Happyness was delivered. It has a TV-movie feel, but it is executed well. The film isn't perfect by any means, however, it is a small but important film and I'm glad that I watched it.
In conclusion and on a personal note, it important to observe that we all lost something on 9/11, some indirectly and some directly. As former New Yorkers, my wife and I lost co-workers, friends, and a sense of security oddly found in the skyline of that great city that no longer looks as it did when we last were there. We both worked in and around The World Trade Centers (I actually witnessed them be built). I worked at the base in a department store and my wife worked on the 96th floor for a bank. It's hard to imagine that most of our co-workers and friends from there are gone. I have yet to return to New York, but I know I will one day; I must. In the meantime, I find films like this one to be an emotional outlet, a reminder of the fragility of life and the evil man is capable of committing, and the fight to survive that is in all of us.
With Respect, Steve"
Ron | Jersey | 03/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My wife wanted to see this movie so I went not expecting much. I was really suprised at how much I liked the film. For those of you who hate Sandler's comedy, he is going for a full dramatic role in this film and he is quite good. Yes there are some humurous moments and Sandler does have a funny line or two, but this is truly a drama. The story is about friendship. Even though it appears it is about how Sandler can't handle the grief over the lose of his family on 9/11, it is also just as much about Cheadle coming to grips with his own life which is not where he wants it to be. It is about them helping each other. Not a perfect story, but a tale well told and well acted all the way around."
Douglas D. Lewis | 10/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While I am personally disappointed at the amount of people that require bombs and crotch jokes to keep them entertained. I have read every review to this point and I find that everyone that doesnt like the movie is upset that a story about real life drama is actually (wait for it) real. The subtle storyline of a broken man whose only hope and solice is a friend that he can't even remember shakes the very foundation of what is considered to be normal. We all wish for a great story were the guy gets the girl and everyone lives happily ever after. The truth behind this movie is that it is honest to life and shows just that. That not everyone is always happy and not every person goes through a horrible situation and comes out on the other side with a smile.
Adam Sandler does a terrific job of showing the subtle nature of just who a person can become. To go from being a well respected dentist to being a closet hermite crab. If you truely do not understand this, than please send 5 minutes and watch when Sandler finally explains his family. The emotion, the pain and the thoughts. While this scene is happening you think of how you would reply to such a travesty. How you would cope with life.
Excluding the main storyline, this movie is still a great story. A husband lost in life, scared to fully to commit to his wife of many years. Even more terrified of show his actual weakness to anyone let alone himself. So scared infact that he will not see a psychologist but, hides outside of one's office for a few minutes of conversation.
I recommend this movie to anyone and everyone. I am still not an Adam Sandler fan but, this movie shows me he can actually show emotion."
This Isn't A Review...
S. Kurtz | Almost Asbury Park | 10/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...as much as a warning.
I don't know if it's intentional or not, but the case for this film depicts a smiling, almost jovial Adam Sandler in each photo in which he appears. And the disc itself has a downright laughing Sandler and Don Cheadle depicted on it.
Truth is, the film is nothing like that at all.
Perhaps the intention is to trick you into thinking this is another Adam Sandler yukfest, you know, another of his inane romps through a light and fluffy comedy.
Uh, I don't think so.
Sandler is a very depressed and very morose character in this film and, to be honest, you'll probably sob more than you laugh as you watch this.
I don't remember laughing once, because there's very little comedic relief as you endure Sandler's condition, along with Cheadle and the rest of the cast.
It's a good film hiding a great film.
But don't let the box fool you...there's very little to laugh about as you watch.
Broken heart story
Reader | Boca Raton, FL | 10/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably one of the underrated movies of the year. Personally, I never liked the previews of this movie and I did not expect that Adam Sandler can deliver solid performance outside of comedy realm. Although his performance is in fact uneven at times, his co-star Don Cheadle is like a solid rock in his delivery of the decent New York dentist who in mid-life crisis seeking for his true purpose in life. There are funny and sad moments in this movie, all characters are carefully developed and one only wishes we could all have friends around us that are decent, loyal and caring, like the ones in this movie. That is what makes this feature almost fairy tale like -- one does not expect people like that in NYC, so their humanity is very refreshing. Film is multilayered and it addresses the issues that we all face in our lives at one point: how do we deal with boredom, guilt, grief, marriage? What is the best escape when repressing sadness and anger - atempt to reconnect with people who remind us of our youth and what we used to be, taking advanced photography lessons, or playing video games hours at the time? Marvelous casting, great music score picks, reality of NYC living with all its curiosity and drag at times. Oh - and on totally unrelated note -- it is almost strange how maturing Adam Sandler looks so much like young Bob Dylan! Their physical resemblance is eerie."