Friday, September 21, 2007

The Family Man

Nicholas Cage and Téa Leoni have great chemistry in a romantic comedy that inadvertently becomes a "message movie." Cage plays Jack Campbell who parlayed a one-year internship at Barclays in London into a smashing career as President of a prominent M&A firm. He has a Ferrari, a closet to die for, women fawning over him and a work ethic that excludes all else.

Just one thing. He had a love pact with his girlfriend Kate Reynolds, to return to her after the internship so as to resume their life together. Thirteen years later, Jack has his narcissistic self-centered lifestyle and Kate has mended her broken heart and moved on to manage a law office and is soon to move to Paris.

It's Christmas eve. Jack sticks his nose into an armed convenience store robbery to find the perpetrator is an angel of sorts, well played by Don Cheadle sent to give Jack "a glimpse" into what his life would have been had he come back to Kate.

He wakes up the next morning ala Groundhog Day in that very life to the sound of his two children, a big drooling retriever, and his beautiful but discheveled wife Kate next to him.

The Ferrari is now a minivan. (Which might lead the viewer to believe it's a horror film!) His two-thousand dollar suits are now felt plaid shirts and sweatpants. For fun he once ran with the bulls in Pamplona. Now? He bowls in a league with his best friend and everyman neighbor, played by one of my favorite supporting actors, Jeremy Piven. His penthouse is now a modest suburban home in New Jersey. His job? He sells tires at his father-in-law's store; Big Ed's. Retail.

This is a great story and may be Nicholas Cage's best comedic role. Téa Leoni is excellent as well. We have watched this film, a sort of Meet Joe Black meets Groundhog Day three times now and it is definitely one of our favorites.

Interesting trivia: Nicholas Cage at one point owned the actual Ferrari 550 Maranello, that appeared in the film.

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