6.7/10
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37 user 11 critic

Duane Hopwood (2005)

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

Director:

Matt Mulhern

Writer:

Matt Mulhern
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daisy Ang ... Frank
Bill Buell ... Wally
Dick Cavett ... Fred
Rachel Covey ... Kate
Mia Dillon ... Female Judge
Marty Dunn Marty Dunn ... Beefy Bartender
Josh Flitter ... Jake
Judah Friedlander ... Anthony
Jim Fyfe ... Linda's Lawyer
Janeane Garofalo ... Linda
Jerry Grayson ... Carl
Joan Griffith Joan Griffith ... Mrs. Wakely
Chance Kelly ... Tommy
John Krasinski ... Bob Flynn
Susan Lynch ... 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

Taglines:

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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vida Não é Uma Roleta See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,519, 13 November 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,510, 18 December 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Kissing A Fool (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

LET'S TALK DIRTY IN HAWAIIAN
Written by Fred Koller and John Prine
Performed by John Prine
Published by Universal Music Publishing Group (BMI) / Spoondevil Music and Pink Sky Music
Administered by Bug Music, Inc. (BMI)
Courtesy of Oh Boy Records
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User Reviews

 
Quietly Brilliant
27 December 2006 | by Rroo99See 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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