Monday, March 26, 2007

Reign Over Me

My wife and I just decided since we have not been to the movies in some time, we would go on this rainy Sunday. Since I do not like "scary movies" and we didn't think TMNT looked all that appealing, we chose Reign Over Me, with Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle.

The plot line is quite loaded: a man loses his whole family in a 9/11 planecrash, and his old college roommate tries to help him pick up the pieces. While doing so, he learns to assert himself, and so picks up his own life. Beyond the 9/11 twist, it is basically a male bonding story much like any other.

That, alone, is not enough to condemn it though. Both Sandler and Cheadle do a great job with what they are given. The dialogue, while unnecessarily heavy at times, is delivered by both in an easy and believable way.

And that night just be where the trouble starts. If the acting was subpar maybe we would care less that the story is so disjointed and the characters so lightly drawn. But the acting draws us in and leaves us wanting to connect with the characters. This wish goes largely unfulfilled.

It seems the movie spends too much time bouncing between the two characters, and as a result we never get much from either. The big reveals all seem written in as an afterthought, and too obvious, as if, on our own, we would not get it.

And the introduction of a love interest just minutes before conclusion does little to let us know things will be ok, and more to let us know that the run time was getting long, and things needed to be wrapped up. OK, both characters will be fine, but how in the world did we get there?

And it is that question that incapsulates the movie as a whole: we are left wondering how much more we xould have known, if only the film would have taken us there.

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