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Just what I needed, When I needed it
David Cole24 November 2006
I never thought that a movie would change my life. I never dreamed that a message could come through so loud and clear, as this movie's message. On the corporate treadmill, I was running faster and faster and creating a really chaotic life for my family. I nearly lost them, the family; to a corporation that did not love me, care for me, or nurture me. I got off of the treadmill, and took a less demanding job. I sleep in my own bed at nights with the woman I love. The frequent flier miles and first class upgrades, and huge bonuses are all gone but not missed. I named the llc company that holds our real estate investments ICHUZUS (I Choose Us) from the movie quote. I can't help but think that this flick has positively affected many people's lives. Many thanks to the writers and those that brought it to life. Take care, I chose us.
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Worth watching more than once
Tom Long3 October 2003
"The unexamined life is not worth living." Plato put these words in the mouth of Socrates. Brett Ratner puts this theme into `The Family Man.' This is not "It's a Wonderful Life." While it is a "feel good movie," it is an intelligent, reflective one. Neither of the parallel lives led by the main character is shown to be flawless. Both have their attractions. Jack, the lead character, is forced from his comfort zone by a "glimpse" of a life connected by commitment and love to friends and family. This movie does something for me few "feel good" movies ever come close to causing. This movie makes me think about what I really value in life. Both pro-capitalist and pro-family, "The Family Man" either leaves you pondering whether your life is consistent with your values or goes over your head and leaves you with the impression that your emotions have been manipulated by another crass commercial Christmas movie. It depends on what the viewer brings to the table.

P.S. Tea Leoni's shower scene has got to be the sexiest portrayal of a movie mom I ever saw.
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Loved it.
seshy30 July 2007
This is a heart-warming, if somewhat sentimental film at times, but with a superb cast, and very well written. The chemistry between Cage and Leoni is something quite rare - in fact, I can't think of a film with such amazing chemistry between the two leads.

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.
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One of my all-time favorites!! (Don't read this if you haven't seen it)
thisizaustin24 April 2004
I absolutely love this movie!! Of course I already liked Cage so it wasn't hard. I think he did a wonderful job of looking confused as all get out when he woke up in the house, and an even better job of looking horrified at his "new" life. He made you really believe that he went from every man's dream of a perfect life to suburban middle class hell, lol! But he also did a wonderful job of transitioning from resentful to begrudgingly intrigued to acceptance. I think Tea Leoni and Jeremy Piven were superb in this as well. It was sweet, romantic, and funny. All very important in a romantic comedy. Setting it at Christmas time added to the feel. Anyone who has kids can identify with the moral of the story.
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Touching Romantic comedy
mjw23052 January 2007
Nicholas Cage and Tea Leoni steal the show in this very pleasant movie. Jack Campbell (Cage) is a Wall Street investment banker at the top of his profession, that is until one Christmas eve, when he stumbles into the middle of a grocery store hold up. The next day he wakes up married to his college sweetheart Kate Reynolds (Leoni) and he has children. When he finds his old life no longer exists he has to adjust his lifestyle to fit in with his family.

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.
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It's A Wonderful Life in 2000
whynotbacritic16 November 2004
I found this movie to be a very nice remix of "It's a Wonderful Life", much like "You've got Mail" is a remix of "Pride and Prejudice" (and totally hints at this within the film). A classic film to make you reexamine your own life, and think about what is really important and meaningful for you, what is success and happiness? Young dreamers in love with their successful careers instead of each other, find out that maybe their love really was meant to be. This is what Nicholas Cage finds out, and when he wakes up from the dream of what 'could have been', he rushes to stop 'loosing her' again, and hopefully still live the happily ever after dream. Nicholas Cage provides a stunning and comical performance in character, from the aggressive businessman - big business and small business - to a loving father and husband with his charming sense of humor. Quite a romantic film to watch with that 'someone special' during the holidays.
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Worth A Look!
firehawk-ws610 November 2004
Without going into too much of the main storyline (you can read the reviews for that) I'll say that this movie is a very touching look at "what might have been." While I'm not a Cage fan, I'll give kudos to him, in that he portrayed his confused character masterfully. His struggles from realizing that he has left his high-octane business/playboy life for a simple family life are fun to watch.

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.
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More Important than Money?
cpkoeneman29 July 2004
The film opens in 1987, with Jack Campbell, played by Nicolas Cage, preparing to board his plane for an internship at a London bank. As Campbell and his college girlfriend Kate (Tea Leoni) say farewell, Kate begs him to stay, but Jack gets on his plane anyway. Their relationship ends while he is in London and Jack goes on to become the President of a large Wall Street company. While walking home from work on Christmas Eve thirteen years later, Campbell has an encounter with an angel, who gives him a "glimpse." This "glimpse" shows Jack what his life would be like if he and Kate were still together, and, in the end, Jack must choose between his life of riches and loneliness, or a life filled with family and love.

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.
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Tea Leoni & Nicolas Cage were a Great Team !
whpratt11 December 2003
Have always been a great admirer of Tea Leoni,(Kate Reynolds),"The Naked Truth",'95 TV Series(Nora Wilde), she had a great TV series and was very funny and sexy. However, in this film she was able to show her great acting talents and also her natural beauty seemed to explode in this picture. Nicolas Cage (Jack Campbell),"Snake Eyes",'88 gave an excellent performance as a Wall Street Giant and a simple down to earth Tire Salesman. A great family picture which had a great moral lesson LOVE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN M O N E Y ! and living a simple normal life has its greater rewards, like children and family. There two actors were fantastic together !
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I liked this movie, a lot
OriginalMovieBuff2126 September 2004
The Family Man is very heartwarming and funny movie brought by Nicolas Cage's great performance as a wealthy business man who has a great job but suddenly things turn around when he wakes up the next morning. I really did like this movie. The acting was terrific especially by Nicolas Cage's performance. The movie was funny. Nicolas Cage was really hilarious in this movie and Tea Leoni had some funny lines along with Jeremy Piven. I don't know why this movie got 2 and a half stars and got a 6.5 rating. I thought this movie was terrific. I didn't see really any flaws in it. I don't understand but any way I highly recommend this movie if your wanting a laugh.

Hedeen's outlook: 9/10 ***+ A-
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A really engrossing film!
miken-324 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie borrows from It's a Wonderful Life and the book Replay, where a man can go back and see how his life would be if he made a different choice. In this movie, Nicholas Cage says goodbye to his girlfriend (Kate) at the airport. He is going to London for a job. We next see him years later as a successful head of a large corporation, unmarried and basically involved in one-night stands. We are later to find out that when Cage went to London, he forgot about Kate and she went her own way, never to be heard from again.

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."
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*** out of ****
Scott-10113 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
"Family Man" had enough humor, drama, sediment, and chemistry between it's stars, to make for a good movie. Nicholas Cage stars as a rich business exec and womanizing bachelor who is forced to relive a decision he made to leave his college girlfriend, Tea Leoni, for a banking internship in London. In the alternate reality Cage is transported to, he finds himself significantly less wealthy in terms of money, but the upside, he discovers over time, is a loving family to come home too. Watching Cage's character evolve into the role is one of the most heartfelt parts of the movie. Tea Leoni, underrated and underused, is always a pleasure to watch, as well. The movie, overall, is pretty familiar but will still make you laugh and smile.
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virtue_srb25 November 2014
The very feel this movie gives you is just something I think is a matter of past sadly, newer movies just seem to trivialize important topics as one presented in the movie, and aren't quite capable of treating them with so much beauty. I really miss movies like this, I cant actually define what it is they have, but I think it has something to do with times they were made in, 1990s and early 2000s had so much more optimism and happiness in them, and I think movies from that era absorbed spirit of those times. Eventually The Family man will leave you wondering what is it you value the most in your life. Also, its not the kind of movie that you will forget completely after some time. Honestly, it deserves an 8 (better than average), but I give it a 10, its current rating does it no justice.
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A truckload of treacle
Dan Franzen (dfranzen70)8 September 2001
Hunker down, kiddies, it's time for a two-hour schmaltz-a-thon. This movie not only tugs at your heartstrings, it rips the strings out and whips you with them. Subtlety ain't this film's strong suit.

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.
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A wonderful life possibility
Mike Naughton31 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the movies I watch at Christmastime. This year I seemed to get it more. And I thought Nick Cage did a great job. I am glad we have Tea Leoni on film in a good movie. She makes one understand the word wife in a more attractive physical way than we usually get in a movie. There were several moments that I considered writing about. Don Cheadle made his character completely real, a necessary task in this kind of movie. (When one wants a powerful and true performance of a character who can do better than Morgan Freeman, Don Cheadle and Denzil Washington. I guess we live in a time when such a statement is thought to come from some personal agenda. It doesn't; this just seemed like a obvious thought last night as I watched Don Cheadle. Anyway...)

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.)
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Constant entertainment generated by amazing chemistry among actors and heart warming insight to what devoting yourself to family really brings
DVR_Brale28 July 2016
I love this move so much that it's not easy for me write an objective review. So I'll write a subjective one. A sort of a panegyric.

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.
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A favourite
juneebuggy22 November 2014
One of my guilty favourite movies that always sucks me right in. Cage plays a rich, ruthless business man who is shown the life he might have led (by guardian angel Don Cheadle )if he'd made a different choice. In A Wonderful Life kind of way he wakes up in suburbia with a mini van, bad suits and a couple of kids, but he also has true love with ex-girlfriend (Tea Leoni).

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
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Why don't they make them like this no more!?
L R1 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I rated this movie a 10! And it may be the most undeserving 10 on my list. But it is up there! It is just so refreshing! So watchable!

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!

Highly recommended!

Real rating: 9.4


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
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To have or have not
frederic-127-28100631 December 2011
The first time I watched that movie, I did not get it. I did not understand the true meaning of it. But the second time, in a very special way, I totally communicated with the love story. It is not about career choices, or life choices. It is about living with the person you love, and discover that the sacrifices, the things you planned, like becoming famous, going to Wall Street, and be rich, or powerful, are lifeless, void. The revelation comes with the singing of a love song during a birthday party. Everyone thinks it is corny, until you understand the meaning of it. That two people love each other, and have dedicated their lives to being together. As the French singer Julien Clerc said: "When you are cold, I am the only one who knows". Love is about that solitude of two people in their own universe. Some tough questions are asked, of course. Did you never regret your choice, honey? And the movie does a fantastic job answering those questions. And tall as a King of Men, is the man who walks quietly to his job as a tire salesman, when he knows he has EVERYTHING. So you think it is cruel to be sent to the suburbs after ruling Wall Street, but try to imagine what it is to be sent back to an empty apartment with a view, after sharing one last night with the woman you love, in the quiet peace of your home, with two kids (and a dog). Of course it is a movie, but try to imagine what it means, to run after someone you love, with a crazy story at hand, knowing it is your last chance to make it happen, 13 years later. Try to imagine what it would be like if he/she just turns away and goes (and that YOU KNOW what you are missing). Insane.
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Horrible stuff
N66715 December 2003
This ultimately cheesy and clichéd movie has the (very preachy) concept that getting married and having kids young is better than first actualizing yourself and your career and getting your life "into shape" before running off into a marriage and child-rearing. What a really bad idea. It's all dressed up in low-brow sentimentalism to make it seem like the right choice.

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.
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Its not hot, but still sticky sweet, from it's head to it's feet
movieman_kev28 June 2005
Jack Campbell (Nick Cage) is a successful, talented, happy businessman on the top of the world. On Christmas Eve, while at a convenience store, he runs into a semi-helpful black guy (well it IS a fantasy movie, I kid of course.), who offers him a glimpse of what life would be like if he had stayed with a previous girlfriend. Before you can utter "Holy Clichéd movie, Batman!", Jack is transported to a life of changing snotty nosed babies diapers and other pitfalls of married life. The topper being that he now lives in New Jersey (the horror, the horror). Don't get me wrong I DO like this film, despite the ultra-simplistic moral that if you don't have someone to love you, you can never be truly happy no matter how much you think you are. If you don't have someone in your life, then you're just deluded in your happiness. That type of BS will NEVER sail with me. I like it, despite the amount of syrupy sweetness is enough to put Mother Theresa into a diabetic induced coma. It is well-acted and I was hardly ever bored, so that should count for something.

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
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The emasculation of Jack
CVN-7628 December 2000
This film is essentially a dual (mirror image for the non mathematicians) of "It's a Wonderful Life". We see less of the angel, but we are treated to the bell motif.

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...
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Wonderful family movie
romans926 October 2014
I've just watched this film. It was very touching, romantic and fantastic. It is one of the time travel films like Groundhog days or Sliding doors, however, it gives me a great impact and deep impression which makes me feel present and see what I really have. Like other Christmas movies, this film also gives us a wisdom which we have to take more precious values in our lives. However, this film has its novelty and not that typical. I really recommend this film to all males who are going to be husband or father. After watching this film I remember the Bible quote "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." in Mathew 13:44-46. The Kingdom of heaven is our family.
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Love it!
I watch this movie about once every other year. It is one of my favorite movies. The premise is so right-on for people like me. There are people I know who are forever climbing the upwardly mobile ladder yet the "higher purpose" of me raising my kids to be better, smarter, and wiser that I is something I'm keenly aware of. The appreciation of one woman, who is special in unique ways -- and completes me -- is sublimely portrayed and understood by the writer & director of this movie. The folks who write negative reviews simply do not understand the movie at all. I am brought to tears every time I watch it, and I am a well-educated, experienced viewer.
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A Feel good Movie for Everyone
franlight17 March 2009
Excellent movie particularly for those who are going through a transition in their life so it is a 'feel good' movie that is much needed in this time of economic uncertainty. How many of us would like to relive a moment or a time in our life ? I think we all often wonder what would happen if we had made a different decision. Or what happens to our lives when we delay living out our dream as poet Langston Hughes wrote in 'A Dream Deferred'. As the site's ratings show it is a great movie for male and female and we have so few movies that we both enjoy. All of the actors were believable and Don Cheadle once again gives a stellar performance as Cash - a scary character that helps Nicholas Cage see how his small decisions alter his life. I recommend that you see it - make it the next movie that you view.
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