6.7/10
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37 user 13 critic

Duane Hopwood (2005)

A down-on-his-luck divorced father struggles to get his life and family back together before it's too late.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Wally
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Fred
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Kate
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Female Judge
Marty Dunn ...
Beefy Bartender
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Jake
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Anthony
Jim Fyfe ...
Linda's Lawyer
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Linda
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Carl
Joan Griffith ...
Mrs. Wakely
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Tommy
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Bob Flynn
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Gina
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Storyline

A down-on-his-luck, divorced father works the night shift at an Atlantic City casino. When his relationship with his young daughters and ex-wife is jeopardized by a run-in with the law, he struggles to get his life - and family - back together before it's too late. A moving and humorous look at the limits of unconditional love and what defines a family. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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When the odds are against you, your best bet is a second chance...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

20 January 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Não é Uma Roleta  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,519 (USA) (11 November 2005)

Gross:

$13,510 (USA) (16 December 2005)
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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming took only 21 days, and was shot entirely in Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, Longport and Ocean City, New Jersey. See more »

Connections

References Alien (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

YOU CAN'T ROLLERSKATE IN THE BUFFALO HERD
Written and Performed by Roger Miller
Published by Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI)
Courtesy of Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC d/b/a Tree Productions
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User Reviews

 
Quietly Brilliant
27 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Regarding Matt Mulhern's Duane Hopwood, I've read everything from "quietly brilliant" to "drably unfocused" -- and several insightful things in between. Me, I fall firmly with the former group: This is a mellow-yet-effective character study that exhibits some real poignancy and delivers a stunningly good performance by Friends star David Schwimmer. It's certainly not the flashiest or most exciting indie you'll ever see, but for what it is, Duane Hopwood is a winner.

Schwimmer plays the titular character, an Atlantic City casino employee who seems to be in the formative stages of outright alcoholism. Duane's estranged wife (the also excellent Janeane Garofalo) is clearly doing all she can to focus on her ex's "good side," as the couple share two daughters -- and, despite his problems, Duane's always been a pretty good dad.

But things boil over after Duane is arrested for drunk driving ... while his young daughter lies sleeping in the back seat of the car. Thus begins a herky-jerky, but decidedly downward, spiral for Duane, a guy who's smart enough to realize he's ruining his life -- but just not smart enough to avoid all the potholes.

As an honest and realistic depiction of the ways in which alcoholism can strike any "normal Joe," Duane Hopwood works exceedingly well. Those expecting any sort of 'after-school special sentiment' or Public Service finger-wagging will be sorely disappointed in Hopwood's screenplay. There are no big emotional revelations or huge dramatic screaming matches -- but the flick packs a punch all the same. It works because of its everyman banality, and not despite it.

For such a quiet and unassuming film, Duane Hopwood sure offers a lot of great little ingredients. The Atlantic City setting, for example, becomes a character unto itself, glitzy and interesting on the surface, but cold and isolated beneath. Judah Friedlander offers a colorfully entertaining supporting performance as Duane's on-again off-again buddy, a security guard who dreams of life as a comedian. And every 25 minutes or so, Mulhern and Schwimmer deliver a moment of true heart, sincerity, and intensity ... frankly, I think this is a better "alcoholism" flick than Leaving Las Vegas.

It sure as hell is a lot more subtle, anyway


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