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|Index||37 reviews in total|
Why not? If Jeff Daniels was being considered for a nomination, hell, any of them. Seymour Hoffman was great, but, quite honestly, Schwimmer got to me in a way none of the years other performances did. How the heck does such a performance end up with practically no exposure and a DVD release without any attention drawn to it? I don't get it. Doesn't this guy have an agent? Opportunities like this don't come along often for an actor in his position - big t.v. star trying to show he can do it in the movies, and you'd think people would pay attention when he hits it out of the park. Of course, the director deserves a good bit of credit for that as well.
It's worth it. I didn't know what to expect. i wasn't a Friends fan, to put it mildly, but this clearly shows that the dude can act his ass off, with all kinds of support from a group of terrific actors around him. it's not easy as far as what he goes through, but I don't remember seeing a movie that says it's o.k. to be funny while the sh** is raining down, sorta like life you know? in the indie world, it's usually do and gloom and extreme behavior, cause, you know, that's cool, right? wrong. check out a flick that dares - truly dares, to go the other way. just when you think - o.k. here's where he flips out and kills everybody then burns down his house cause that's what happens in indie films - that doesn't happen. full of nice surprises, and if this doesn't get to you, go have a check up, cause you might be a cold blooded reptile.
There is a certain freedom when you lose everything you ever cared
about in life. It sounds insane, I know. But it simplifies the process
of life. It means you can start from scratch... A clean slate if you
"Duane Hopwood" (David Schwimmer) first loses his sobriety, then his wife and two daughters, then his job, then his hope and comes dangerously close to losing his will to live. At the custody hearing, he tells the judge that he "needs a reason to stay".
The only thing Duane doesn't lose is the unconditional love of his daughters and the loyalty of a very quirky group of friends.
What is so skillful about this film is the way in which it balances our sympathy for Duane's tragic situation with our understanding that Duane is the cause of his own problems and the only one who can remedy them.
The pivot, around which the film's emotional power revolves, is the quite magnificent transformation of David Schwimmer from the almost unshakable familiarity of his role as Ross on NBC's 'Friends' to this ever so sad and bedraggled ex-husband and father who is desperate to stop the sand slipping through his fingers. This is absolutely a career transforming role that, surprisingly to me, certifies that he has a very promising film career as a dramatic actor in front of him. If enough people see this film, he will be reaping the rewards with great parts for years to come.
Janeane Garofalo also delivers in an atypical role. As Duane's estranged wife, she delicately balances the cold-hearted reality of wanting to move on with her life and the sympathetic understanding of someone who knows him better than anyone else. Her role could so easily have drifted into cynical and clichéd 'mean ex-wife' territory... but this film is too smart to go down that path.
There are some truly fine performances from the supporting cast members. Judah Friedlander & Susan Lynch are both very good as Duane's new support system. Friedlander plays Anthony, an aspiring comedian who becomes Duane's roommate. Lynch is Duane's first girlfriend since getting divorced. Each of them change the pace of the film nicely and add depth and nuance to an already powerful story.
I also want to point out the girls who play Duane's kids. So often I complain that bad performances from kids can ruin the believability of a film... However, Ramya Pratt & Rachel Covey are both splendid here.
This film feels like a cross between "The Family Man" and "Leaving Las Vegas"... an odd combination indeed. But it works on so many levels. I laughed during this film. I shed tears in the final act. I cared about each and every character. It is a tremendously well written screenplay, and it is acted with precision.
This is a small independent feature that really deserves a wide audience. Unfortunately, it will have trouble finding one because it doesn't have a huge publicity campaign behind it or 75 copies lining the shelves of DVD stores. I can only hope that word of mouth and positive reviews like mine will convince a few people to seek this film out. If they do, they will find a diamond in the rough and will be telling all their friends about it too
How is it that such a sweet, incisive look at the story of an American family dealing with a member who can't always cope come out of the independent world with a clear voice, while Hollywood always - always! - messes it up? Too many cooks I guess. David Schwimmer is excellent, and Matt Mulhern, the writer director (and an excellent actor in his own right - ever see "Biloxi Blues"?) deserve credit for a gem of a film! The fact that this movie never made it "to a theater near you" is a testament to the inability of those who distributed it to understand what a sleeper they had on their hands. All the supporting performances are wonderful, and the film should have gotten the kind of coverage and attention that this years other indies ("Squid and the Whale" "June bug" etc.) got. I personally thought "Duane Hopwood" delivered a much more powerful punch than either of those two films. Congratulations!
OK,Confession first. The only reason i watched this movie is because I
wanted to see more of David Schwimmer after already having seen his
other work. Plus, i just finished watching the 'The Last One' and was
having withdrawal symptoms. I think I'm gonna get busy with the
filmography of the entire Friends cast now. But still,David is
different from all of them.Over time I have come to greatly admire all
of David's work,be it acting or direction. He has a lot more to him
then one could imagine looking at 'Ross' during his 'friends' run.
As for the movie, David is great in this drama role and the movie itself is very touching,showing a fathers love for his daughters and just how the smallest of things can turn your life upside down. And of course what happens if you drive around drunk with your daughter in the backseat. Not a good idea,that one.
All in all, its worth a watch for all David Schwimmer fans,like me.
This movie gives us a part of a father's life, who is also an
alcoholic. It is moving and touching is a good way: the story is not
over dramatic, there is no burst of drama. It does feel very real; it
feels like life, too. Stuff happens, and you have to deal with it.
Maybe the storyline is a tad different from the classics, but it only
gives more realism into it.
The actors are also very good, they give us an excellent performance. Just as much the adults as the kids. They all are very believable, and all previous roles fade away to leave only the character of the movie.
All in all, a must see that deserves much more recognition that what it is given.
David Schwimmer is absolutely fabulous in the title role. He conveys the anger, fear and torment of a man whose life is going downhill, and know it, and can't stop it. All the props that keep him going are taken away until all he has left is himself, and the truth. And that is what this movie is about: confronting the truth. Duane Hopwood is a metaphor for everyone. His life is changing and he doesn't like it and does everything he can to avoid having to deal with it. Frustration and anger leads to rage as Duane tries protect what is left of his self-respect. Duane's story is made even more poignant by the fact that he is essentially a good, decent person, which makes his decline that more intense and tragic. For this movie is about tragedy, and redemption. It is possible to reverse the downward spiral, but it takes a lot of strength, and for Duane Hopwood, his life is on the line.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There is always more to a human being than meets the eye. But it's a
rare film that provides any kind of depth to movie characters, who are
all too frequently one-dimensional drones - good or bad, mean or nice,
caring or indifferent. Duane Hopwood is that rare film that delves deep
below the surface of each of the main characters.
David Schwimmer plays Hopwood, a divorced Atlantic City father who works as a pit boss at Caeser's. Our first impression of him is one of revulsion. He's driving drunk, pounding a beer while bobbing and weaving down the highway. And if that wasn't bad enough, after he's pulled over he reveals to the cop that his 8 year old daughter is asleep in the backseat.
As the film develops, though, so does Schwimmer's character. Hopwood is really a caring father, albeit one who's alcoholism has gotten the better of him. His compassion - at least when he's sober - extends not only to his two daughters, but to his ex-wife (Janeane Garafaolo), a friend who needs a place to stay (Judah Friedlander), his elderly gay neighbors, and even an obnoxious loudmouth at the casino, much to Hopwood's eventual detriment.
Garafaolo appears at first as a miserable, angry, shrew, but her character develops as well, revealing a struggling single mom whose kids are her primary concern.
At the end of the film, the ex-wife and the kids have packed up and left New Jersey for South Carolina with her new beau, and Duane has been fired from his job. It's not at all clear if he will be able to get on the wagon, deal with the departure of those for whom he cares the most, and put his life back together. But there is a ray of hope. And we're left rooting for him.
David Schwimmer plays the title character,who is married with two kids and works in a casino.then one stupid mistake,and he loses everything.this film is not at all preachy.it's more of an observation about how devastating alcohol abuse can be.Janeane Garofalo plays Linda,Duane's(ex)wife.both Schwimmer and Garofalo are excellent here.Schwimmer sheds his Friends persona with ease.i was not reminded of that show at all.this is a drama,but it also has some lite comedy bits.it's not depressing at all.in fact,i think it's hopeful and even uplifting.it's a small,independent gem that a lot of people did not see,unfortunately.if you get a chance,i highly recommend you watch it.10/10
Duane Hopwood (David Schwimmer) is distraught over his recent divorce and turns to the bottle for comfort. It is probable that his drinking problem contributed to his split from his wife, Linda (Janeane Garofalo). He maintains his job in an Atlantic City casino but, after hours, he is acting irresponsibly. One night, he is pulled over by a police officer, on suspicion of driving under the influence. It is all too apparent that Duane is, indeed, drunk, but complicating the matter is the fact that he has one of his young daughters in the back seat. Linda is fit to be tied and wants the court to decide if Duane's contact with the girls should be severed. This drives Duane into a further depression, for he is a good father when he is sober. Then, too, Linda has a new man in her life and Duane is upset over that, also, for he still loves his former wife dearly. How can Duane keep himself together? This is a touching film about alcoholism and its deep impact on those in its grasp. As Duane, Schwimmer gives an outstanding, heartfelt performance that clearly shows that a man under the influence can stand to lose it all, even though he is not a "bad" human being. A blonde and glamorized Garofalo, too, gives a strong turn as a woman who has reached the end of her patience with a topsy-turvy home situation. The rest of the cast is quite fine as well, including the two lovely little girls. As for the settings, costumes, and photography, they perfectly realize the Jersey shore and its mixed bag of poverty and affluence. In truth, Duane's descent into misery seems a bit harsh, as he demonstrates time and again that he is a good dad and that his DUI was his first criminal offense. Yet, where children are involved, their ultimate protection is the main determining factor, of course. In this light, Hopwood is a potent cautionary tale for those who like their drink a bit too much, for it can ruin lives. Yet, the film is not without hope and could serve as an inspiration for those who are in the grip of any addiction. All viewers who like Schwimmer, too, will find this a good watch, as his performance is very, very strong.
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