The Family Man (2000)
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P.S. Tea Leoni's shower scene has got to be the sexiest portrayal of a movie mom I ever saw.
As far as the storyline is concerned, I don't have too much to add to the comments that are already posted. Whatever limitations the film's storyline or premise has, the individual performances rise above it.
In the DVD extras there is an interesting comment by the producer where he says he challenges any man to watch the film and not want to live with Tea Leoni and I must say I wholeheartedly agree with him. To be fair her character is completely idealised (naturally beautiful but unaffected by it, intelligent, insightful, sexy, gracious, humble, caring, unstoppably positive and non-demanding). Have you ever met anyone like this in real life?
I enjoyed this film so much that it just about creeps into my all time top ten. The only reason a romantic comedy made it in there is because the performances and the chemistry elevate the film above any other romantic comedy I have seen, both before and since.
With slight comparisons to Sliding Doors in the way the story works and the concept of life altering decisions 'Family Man' is very entertaining, charming and heart warming, not to mention subtly amusing throughout. Cage and Leoni are a great on-screen couple and the story is definitely intriguing enough to make for compulsive viewing.
7/10 Not as good as Sliding Doors, but its definitely worthy of your attention.
And Tea Leoni....woohoo!
Nice holiday movie. Probably not one for the younger kids, due to some content (Tea's shower scene is STUNNING!) and innuendo, but definitely one you can be entertained by. 7 out of 10 stars.
The central idea of the film is to show that a person who is rich in material objects often lacks more important things. It says that these things include being surrounded by people who care about you and having someone to love. Before Campbell's "glimpse," his only motivation is money and most of the movie is filmed at his office, showing he does not have much of a life outside of it. Without a second thought, he calls an emergency meeting with his staff at noon on Christmas, causing them to leave their families and come in to the office. The movie successfully shows the struggle between money and family because this is a theme to which the audience can relate.
The director is able to keep the audience's attention throughout the movie through the use of humor. Lassiter (Josef Sommer), the owner of the company, when asked why he is still at the office on Christmas Eve replies "because I'm a heartless bastard who only cares about money." In doing this, the director, while still concentrating on the theme of the movie, keeps the viewer watching. In doing these things and more, the director creates a film that is not only entertaining to watch, but also one that carries a message about life and happiness.
Hedeen's outlook: 9/10 ***+ A-
Cage is on the way home from the office during a snow-storm and thwarts a robbery. The audience expects the robber to shoot cage but instead Cage seems to convince the robber that he would be a better man if he didn't shoot Cage. It turns out that the robber is not really a robber but a type of Angel (similar to Clarence in It's a Wonderful Life) who will give Cage a glimpse of what life would be like if he hadn't stayed in London but instead came back and married Kate.
Cage goes to sleep in his luxury apartment and wakes up the next morning in a bed with an older Kate. Cage slowly learns that he is really a married man with a family and instead of a big time corporate president, he is a tire salesman in his father-in-law's store.
There are several hilarious scenes and some very touching ones. His "new" life looks like a nightmare at first turns out to be the life he will eventually prefer (Some of this is reminiscent of Goldie Hawn in Overboard). Only until he realizes this, he will not be returned to his prior life by the Angel.
The director does a great job in giving us an ending that is different than what you seem to expect. I won't say what but I think it was well done.
One thing that is not explored is that when Cage's glimpsed life finishes, he will lose his two children from that glimpsed life. The director never touches on Cage's feelings about that, unlike the novel Replay where the main character is torn apart because a child he had in an alternate life no longer exists when he is in a different reality.
The movie is well cast and Don Cheadle is excellent as the "angel."
Nicolas Cage plays a slick Wall Street powerbroker (the only kind in Hollywood, and probably real life as well) who has it all: money, money, money, and power. Jack Campbell's lacking a family, but he doesn't see that as a bad thing. He's also driven, obsessed with improving the company he works for - he even schedules a "crisis meeting" on Christmas Day. This guy's got balls, all right. He's making loot hand over fist, and he's probably on his way to an ulcer or a heart attack before he hits fifty.
On Christmas Eve, he gets a phone message from an ex-girlfriend (Tea Leoni). Years earlier, the two of them had made a decision crucial to their lives - he went to England to intern with a prestigious bank, and she went to one of the finest law schools in the country. This facilitated their breakup, but since Jack's made out rather well in the interim, he pays the call little mind. Then that night, he stops by a convenience store to pick up some egg nog. An irate lottery player (the always reliable and watchable Don Cheadle) pulls a gun on the clerk behind the counter. Jack offers to buy the man's lottery ticket in an effort to calm the situation, and even attempts to rehabilitate the hoodlum. "Cmon," Jack tells him, "everyone needs something." "What do you need?" Cash asks him. Jack considers the point, then replies there's nothing he needs. "Ok," says Cash, "but just remember, you got yourself into this." Hmm.
The next morning, Jack wakes up in bed with the lovely, the delicious, the married-in-real-life-to-David Duchovny Tea Leoni. And he has two kids. And a dog. And whoa! This isn't Jack's life, is it? He doesn't like kids! And here they come, bouncing on the bed he shares with Kate. It's Christmas Day, after all. But Jack's in shock. He panics, grabs the keys to their minivan (Hey! Where's his Porsche?) and dashes off to the city. What's going on?
Seems Cash is some kinda sorta angel or something (it's never really explained), and he's offering Jack a "glimpse" of what his life would have
been like if he had stuck with Kate back in the day. Now, those of us who are of a certain age do wonder from time to time what life would have been like if different decisions had been made. Jack's problem is that his wonderment is now his reality. And it's most certainly not the reality he's looking for! The Single Jack is a hedonist who recognizes only responsibilities to his job. The Married Jack pays more attention to his familial responsibilities.
So we have a general fish-out-of-water scenario. Jack knows he's Single Jack, and naturally he has neither knowledge nor memory of life as Married Jack. He doesn't know his friends, his in-laws, his co-workers (he works as a tire salesman!), nothing. He doesn't even know where he lives! Ah yes, mad hijinks ensue. It's like in that Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show - the audience is in on the joke, but the lead character has no idea. See Jack stumble over gettin' jiggy with his wife! See him mumble greetings to friends he doesn't know! See him stand with his mouth agape most of the time, trying in vain to absorb everything.
And, of course, see Jack wrap things up neatly. Too bad it's a two-hour sojourn into schmaltz, though. The problem with the movie isn't that it's sentimental, it's that it's a preachy film, desperate to teach us that Marriage Is Good. And think about it - how many guys do you know are married to someone who looks like Tea Leoni (and is a nice person, too), who goes to work at a tire place with a song in their hearts, who has a loving family with two perfect kids? This life doesn't exist, and damn this movie for making the married versus single issue seem so black and white. Single >bad, marriage = good.
The best sentimental films teach lessons with such subtlety that you don't realize you've learned anything until well after the closing credits have rolled. The worst of these films takes a lesson that most people know anyway and proceeds to whack the living crap out of you with it. Ok, ok! I get it! Married life = good things. Got it, ok. And thankfully, Jack got it, too, or we'd still be watching this drivel.
Annie (the daughter) is crucial to the accepting of the basic "replacement daddy" plot. And she makes it work.
I think watching this movie is the only way to get what the performers and creators achieved. Might do it again tonight. (BTW: The commentaries are very good; however the Director commentary needed the movie volume raised whenever commentators weren't discussing.)
I've seen this movie a couple of times. The last time I watched it was with a soon-to-get-married friend. I insisted on watching it. He was later thankful for it. I really believe this movie can improve your relationship with a romantic partner.
I don't think anyone could've played Jack Campbell better than Nicolas Cage. He appeared funny to me even when that clearly wasn't his aim. The chemistry between Lea Leoni and Nicolas is amazing. It's as if this movie was based on their actual relationship. Jeremy Piven has done a great job playing Arnie - the buddy guy! The Family man is one of the rare movies which highlight the not-so-nice side of success and being on top in contrast to happiness and fulfillment family brings.
Writers David Weissman and David Diamond didn't leave anything out when it comes to portraying the world in which parents live. How do you raise your kids, do a full time job, maintain relationship with friends, do household business, every night take your dog for walk, and, most importantly, build a great relationship with your spouse? Wouldn't all that business take away the time necessary to build THE career and life's comfort? We might think we don't need all of the above.
And that's exactly what Jack Campbell had thought as well.
I love the relationship here between Jack and his daughter -its so sweet, she sees through him and thinks he's an alien that's replaced her father.
Cage is, Cage but this was made back before he stopped caring so he has some great moments. Leoni makes me smile in every one of her scenes, she's so genuine and happy and goofy amidst the chaos of their life. One of those warm-fuzzy movies. 12.24.13
This movie is just sooooo awesome! Nick Cage makes this movie a hit! Just wow! Now I understand why he is such a big name in Hollywood! He is just full of charisma!
The plot is amazing! Casting is great. Maybe Tea Leoni was a weak link but still good enough to keep the movie a masterpiece.
Some clichés , but I like this movie so much I just overlook them. Haha. Well, clichés are clichés for a reason I guess. They work.
Also, this is a feel good movie! A movie that challenges your moral values. That makes you look into what is really important! I love it!
Real rating: 9.4
MY RATING SYSTEM:
9.35 - 10 = rating 10 ***** 8.6 - 9.3 = rating 9 ***** 7.8 - 8.5 = rating 8 ***** 7.0 - 7.7 = rating 7
6.0 - 7.0 = 6 5.0 - 6.0 = 5 4.0 - 5.0 = 4 3.0 - 4.0 = 3 2.0 - 3.0 = 2 1.0 - 2.0 = 1
Seems to me to be the comfort food of people who made bad choices and want to feel better about staying in that situation rather than doing something about it.
What really worries me is that many people are really influenced by movies, and this may lead to people making similar bad choices, which certainly won't end up as phonily rosy as the one depicted here.
My Grade: C+
DVD Extras:Commantary with Director Brett Radner and Writers David Diamond & David Weissman; Second Commentary with Producer Marc Abraham; Music Score Commentary with Danny Elfman; A 20 minute Spotlight on Location featurette; 9 Deleted Footage; 6 Outtakes; Montage of people saying Jack; Seal 'This could be Heaven' Music Video; a lame Choose your Fate game; Opening scene with Alternative Music; Production Info; Cast & Crew Biographies; and Theatrical Trailer
DVD-ROM: Script to Screen Comparison; Screensaver; Wallpaper
I went with my wife, brother and two sons. We all hated it. There is very little to like in this film.
Perhaps most irritating to me was when Jack manages to land a job at Lassiter and Company, but his wife objects. She doesn't want to leave the hovel in New Jersey, but will ("I chose us, Jack") if it is necessary for their relationship. Jack wimps out. He subordinates his desires and the welfare of his family to the desires of his wife. Ah, noble poverty...