A modern-day Frank Capra story. Jack Campbell, a successful and talented businessman, is happily living his single life. He has everything, or so he thinks. One day he wakes up in a new life where he didn't leave his college girlfriend for a London trip. He's married to Kate, lives in Jersey and has two kids. He, of course, desperately wants his life back for which he has worked 13 years for. He's president of P. K. Lassiter Investment House and not a tire salesman at Big Ed's. He drives a Ferrari and not a mini-van that never starts. And most importantly he doesn't wake up in the morning with kids jumping on the bed. After a bad start, day by day he's more confident in his new life and starts to see what he's been missing. Turns out money's good to have but that's not everything.Written by
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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