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After getting into a car accident while drunk on the day of her sister's wedding, Gwen Cummings is given a choice between prison or a rehab center. She chooses rehab, but is extremely resistant to taking part in any of the treatment programs they have to offer, refusing to admit that she has an alcohol addiction. After getting to know some of the other patients, Gwen gradually begins to re-examine her life and see that she does, in fact, have a serious problem. The path to recovery will not be easy, and success will not be guaranteed or even likely, but she is now willing to give it a try. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
After the credits a scene is shown where a new patient is arriving at rehab. The new patient is the actor playing Falcon in the soap Santa Cruz which is the favorite of both Eddie Boone and Andrea. Eddie Boone asks Falcon for an autograph. See more »
There comes a time in the career of every performer identified mainly with lightweight romantic comedy roles to take the plunge into more serious acting challenges in the hopes that we will see beyond his or her pretty face and into the heart of the great actor that resides within. And strangely enough, many of these actors and actresses choose the same exact route to accomplish this feat that of portraying a person heavily addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. This was the case with, for instance, Meg Ryan in `When a Man Loves a Woman' and Michael J. Fox in `Bright Lights, Big City' to name just a few. Now we have Sandra Bullock attempting to stretch her thespian muscles by portraying an alcoholic in `28 Days,' the tale of a young woman's experiences in a detox center located in a bucolic suburb of New York City.
One of the initial problems with such films is that casting such well-known faces in these parts automatically ends up conferring a bit too much glamour on the situation. And `28 Days' is no exception. It's hard to accept Bullock as a particularly credible person in this role. Still, the movie is generally watchable because it manages to make the people and the rituals at the center seem both utterly addled and emotionally endearing all at the same time. When Bullock feisty, close-minded, smug in her sense of superiority - first arrives after being ordered to the center as a part of her probation, we are as appalled as she is by the touch-feely nature of what is going on there. If anything could keep one from becoming an addict, the threat of being sent to a place like this would just about do it. But then, as the various characters begin to open up and reveal themselves as true hurting individuals, we, like the Bullock character, begin to be won over. But even these people aren't given enough screen time to really grow into fully-rounded, complex characters in their own right.
The film never entirely breaks out of its TV-movie formula. We are treated to all the standard plot devices common to the genre: the inevitable overdose by one of the patients, romantic interludes with a professional baseball player, the clashes between the latter and Bullock's troublemaking boyfriend. One of the problems with glossy studies of addiction such as this one is that, more often than not, we are led to believe that the `cure' is a permanent one not necessarily because the film shows us that (in fact, it makes a few nods in the direction of showing that it ISN'T always permanent) but because the two-hour time frame and the audience demand for a hopeful, upbeat ending inadvertently leave us with that impression. To be fair to the film, it doesn't tie up all the loose ends into a nice pretty package. We are given cause for hope, but the open-ended nature of the final scenes suggests properly that the struggle will go on.
`28 Days' is a film with its heart in the right place. In fact our own hearts go out to it, to Ms. Bullock, to all those involved in its making. We realize that it is difficult to make a film that, on the one hand, yearns to be an uncompromising study of a subject as gritty as this one, yet, on the other, feels the need to appeal to as wide a mass audience as possible. The result, unfortunately, is a film that is too lightweight to be taken seriously, too `entertaining' to be real.
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