A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.
An attorney in a rush to make a court appointment to file legal papers involving a multi-million dollar trust accidentally collides with an alcoholic insurance salesman, who also is a rush for a court appointment involving the custody of his children. The attorney leaves the scene of the accident and strands the salesman, causing him to miss his custody hearing. During the process of the post-crash discussion, the attorney accidentally drops the papers he needs to present in court. The judge gives him until the end of the day to present the papers and thus begins a cat and mouse game between the proponents. A few questionable actions later on both parties' part, they finally start questioning their actions and their lives. In the end, both come to new understanding of what is important and appear to be set in new ethical and moral directions. Contains mild violence and profanity. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
As we know from Michael Douglas's performance in "Falling Down", driving on the roads of American cities can make you crazy. So it's not too surprising when a fender-bender on New York's FDR Drive brings into conflict a hot-shot young lawyer trying to keep his law firm out of serious trouble (surprisingly well portrayed by Ben Affleck) and an alcoholic struggling to keep in touch with his estranged wife and two sons (Samuel L Jackson as a more conventional character than usual). But a mislaid file rapidly leads to a vicious escalation of alternating retribution in scenes reminiscent of "The War Of The Roses".
British director Roger Mitchell ("Notting Hill") uses some edgy camerawork and rapid cutting to pile on the tension but, just when he should be pushing his characters to breaking point, the whole thing collapses into a most unsatisfactory ending of unconvincing decency. Along the way, Sydney Pollack, who has himself directed a movie exposing the hypocrisy of the legal profession ("The Firm"), is on the mark as the head of the law firm and the father-in-law of Affleck's character, but first-rate actors like William Hurt and Toni Collette are only given bit roles. The whole thing could, and should, have been so much better and the main fault has to lie with the last quarter of the script.
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