1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

THE FAMILY MAN: review

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 15, 2001.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    44,710
    Likes Received:
    3,679
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    [​IMG]

    The Family Man

    What if you had the opportunity to glimpse
    at what your life would be like had you made
    different choices?
    This is exactly the premise of Universal's
    newest DVD release, The Family Man,
    due out this week.
    Jack Campbell (Nicholas Cage) is a powerful
    and wealthy businessman who is at the top of
    his game. He's confident -- always in control --
    and he thinks he has everything he wants in life.
    That is, until he wakes up one morning and finds
    out he's married to the girlfriend he left 13
    years before (Tea Leoni). He also has two
    children and a lackluster job to boot.
    You see, Jack is living the life he WOULD have
    had if he had made different choices years ago.
    While the premise of the film is lucrative,
    the film, unfortunately, loses any of the
    potential it could have had in becoming a
    truly funny and heartwarming film. It tries
    so hard to put itself in the class of Its
    A Wonderful Life, but I found myself bored
    with the film by the time it was over.
    The film just seems to stumble along with
    a few funny moments here and there. The little
    girl in this movie is absolutely endearing. The
    problem is that the pacing is very slow, and
    I am not quite sure I enjoyed the ending.
    The DVD quality is as good as you would expect.
    Picture is good, with a DTS soundtrack that goes
    unnoticed. This isn't a movie that relies on
    elaborate sound. The one thing I did enjoy
    hearing was Danny Elfman's score that is very
    reminiscent of NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
    I haven't had the opportunity to go through
    the supplements as of yet, but they do include
    commentary with the Directors and writers; deleted
    scenes and outtakes; Music score commentary
    by Danny Elfman; and a MAKING OF featurette.
    There is also a DVD Rom feature.
    While I normally don't review DVD product that I
    don't like, FAMILY MAN never reached the
    unlikable. It's a tolerable film that is a little
    long in the legs. It's a good film to rent, but
    I'm not sure it will stand up to repeated viewings.
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    Ronald Epstein (pronounced like the English "Ronald Epstein")
    Circa 2000
    Home Theater Forum Administrator
    All forum questions & to get on our private forum mailing list (new members)... Email: hometheaterforum@home.com
    Problems with the webpage or site? Contact WEBMASTER
    Email Packy packy@hometheaterforum.com
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    28,153
    Likes Received:
    3,863
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Ron,
    I've been debating on whether to pick this up and my decision to purchase it will depend on what others think of this film. Also, how was Don Cheadle's performance because he is one of my favorites of todays actors?
    Crawdaddy
    ------------------
     
  3. Derek Faber

    Derek Faber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 1999
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really enjoyed the movie, and the first half was hysterical, while the second half showed some real emotion. The movie is predictable but it's alot of fun. I recommend it.
     
  4. Hakan Powers

    Hakan Powers Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 1999
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mine is inbound from Canada right now.. probably won't have it until friday but I'll post my thoughts when I've had a chance to look at it. My way of justifying the purchase can be put in two words: Tea Leoni - She's fabulous in anything she's in (though she probably won't win any oscars soon..)
    Crawdaddy, I am absolutely with you on Don Cheadle. I have yet to see him in a bad movie/performance.
    Edit: I just remembered that he was in Mission to Mars.. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    My movies
    HTF AFI Top 100 Challenge: 71 70 69 68 films remaining.
    Next Up: The Sound of Music
    The Price of freedom is eternal vigilance - Thomas Jefferson
    [Edited last by Håkan Powers on July 15, 2001 at 02:30 PM]
     
  5. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 1999
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ron,
    I liked it during its' theatrical release. We just got it in the mail yesterday, so I'll pop it in and check it out to see if it holds up.
    Peace,
    DM
    ------------------
    "We all end up dead, the question is how and why."
     
  6. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    16,204
    Likes Received:
    1,292
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    I just rented this from Hollywood video... what I liked about it was that while it follows the basic plotline of 'It's A Wonderful Life' and it's various clones, it avoids many of the clichés of other movies in the genre. He isn't disappointed with his current succuess... He revels in it. When he comes back to reality, things don't just magically work out. We get the sense that he has a chance. It tries to be a light-hearted comedy, yet there's some genuine emotion there. All the cast does a good job. It's no four star classic, but it's a highly enjoyable, touching film. Maybe the dribble this summer's put out has lowered me standards.
     
  7. Dave H

    Dave H Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,438
    Likes Received:
    132
    I enjoyed the film and thought it was good; however, I, too, have wondered how well it would hold up to multiple watchings which makes me wonder how good the film really is. (A good film, of course, should hold up over time and multiple viewings.) If I do buy this, it would have to be used at a very good price.
    They probably could have shortened the film; I did find it a bit too long, all things considered.
     
  8. Gavin K

    Gavin K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2001
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was curious about this movie because of the talent involved, and was pleasantly surprised.
    The plot is familiar, but given fresh legs, so to speak. They avoided enough of the cliches, and the actors were strong enough to overcome the ones that were left. I didn't find it too long, as I was interested in the story and the characters, and the ending was satisfying to me. But the re-watch factor is low, not because it was a bad movie, but because now that I know the ending I won't be as emotionally involved as the initial viewing, and that was one of the best things about the film.
    By the way, Cheadle was great, albeit he is only in a few scenes. The little girl was indeed very endearing, and even Tea Leoni was very good.
    ------------------
    "Wow, what a dramatic airport!"
     
  9. Ray R

    Ray R Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought the acting was great, but the direction the ending took and the subsequent message of the movie seemed to discount all that took place before.
    Spoiler:We were lead to feel too much for the little girl to have her not exist at the end. In fact the glimpse was far too detailed to drive home a message of "it's never too late". I found myself disappointed that I didn't see him get that new life. I suppose this film had more meaning to those professional 20 somethings who haven't taken that plunge into family life yet. It was a good movie, but the ending didn't work for me.
    [Edited last by Ray R on August 14, 2001 at 10:11 AM]
     
  10. Scott Wong

    Scott Wong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been meaning to give this one a rent....
    Scott.
    ------------------
    Scott's DVD List
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    10,340
    Likes Received:
    562
    I really liked this movie, and I also liked the ending. 10 years ago an engagement of mine was broken off. A few years later I wrote a story that was very similar to The Family Man, a sort of "what if" we had never broken up.
    When it came time to write the ending I went with something very similar to The Family Man. (My story had more of a supernatural tone to it and much less humor, though)
    This movie was an immediate purchase for me.
     
  12. Brett Jason

    Brett Jason Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 1999
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ray R.
    I had a different take on the ending:
    Spoiler:I don't think the "other world" disappears completely (and thus the little girl). To me it's like another dimension that he briefly took over from the other Nicholas Cage. That's why he said to Tea something along the lines, of "remember me this way, right now and don't forget it". I guess the original husband would then appear and he wouldn't have any idea of what occurred while he was "gone", which would be sort of bizarre. The more I think about it, the more it's best not to think about it [​IMG]The thing that weakened it for me is that even if they did hook up after the coffee, they wouldn't have the life that existed in the other world, they're older, have different jobs, etc. The best part was Tea's silhouette in the shower, unless it was CGI [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Brett Jason on August 14, 2001 at 12:53 PM]
    [Edited last by Brett Jason on August 14, 2001 at 12:55 PM]
     
  13. William Ward

    William Ward Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2000
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    1
    I just checked this one out and thought it as decent. Not great, but not bad either. Am I the only one who thought this transfer had a bit much EE??? Some of the buildings in the city seemed a bit harsh looking.
    ------------------
    William
    Go Bucs!!
    MyDVDs
     
  14. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    Messages:
    2,329
    Likes Received:
    0
    i absolutely love this film..........and I can't believe i just admitted that in public.
     
  15. Margo

    Margo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 1999
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also enjoyed this movie very much.
    Spoiler:
    I considered the children in the "possible" life to be representations of the children that they would have if they got together. So they might not have had that exact little girl, but they would have a child with the same qualities.
     
  16. Chuck C

    Chuck C Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    1
  17. MickeS

    MickeS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    5,065
    Likes Received:
    1
    I liked this movie a lot, much more than I thought I would. Some hilarious comedy in the beginning, and some very emotional scenes towards the end.
    The ending was a bit disappointing, I felt like Ray R did (see his message above). However, this kind of movie can rarely end in a way that makes everybody like it, and I think they did a good job of tieing (sp?) up the loose ends, as well as present a decent explanation for what had happened.
    Well worth a rental, even a purchase if you are the type who rather buys than rents. [​IMG]
    /Mike
     
  18. Matthew_Millheiser

    Matthew_Millheiser Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2000
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ugh, this film... We watched this film a few weeks ago and I never saw so many reasonably intelligent filmwatchers give the TV the finger...
    And that child actress who played the daughter? With that forced, wretched speech impediment/lisp to make her seem adorable and endearing? GAH!
    Maybe I'm just a Grumpy Gustavo, but The Family Man was IMHO absolutely vile. I'd sooner break out the genital cuff and a worn-out, taped-off-cable VHS copy of Can't Stop The Music then subject myself to it again...
    ------------------
    If you have to get your DVDs on the street date, buy them in person at Best Buy or Costco. If you have to get your DVDs at the lowest bargain price available, order them online. Pick one and shut the fuck up.
    - DVD Freaks at The Lard Biscuit
     
  19. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    10,340
    Likes Received:
    562
    I too liked this movie a lot. I'm a writer and the story I'm working on is a little bit like this: a little bit of "what if" and "other worlds parallel to ours" type of thing, with some fantasy, horror, romance & other nifty stuff thrown in for good measure.
    But back to Family Man, I really liked the film because the execution was good and the acting was also good. The ending I liked, it didn't Spoiler:Disney'ize the movie too much. It made you draw your own conclusions.
    This isn't It's a Wonderful Life, but I thought it was a good movie in its own right. 3/4 stars.
     
  20. LarrySkelly

    LarrySkelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought it was excellent, I took one of my kids (age 10) to see it in the theatre and she loved it. We bought it for the family to watch and I think it made all three kids think a bit about how things are and how things might have been if...
    Mind you I've not seen Its a Wonderful Life yet, ever. I know this is odd, and I'll rectify this, plan to buy it first chance I get.
    ------------------
    Upgrading: 'What if this is as good as it gets?'
     

Share This Page