Monday, March 12, 2007
Tonight, I went to a pre-screening of "Reign Over Me" at San Francisco Centre. The film will open on March 23.
This is the first time I have been to this theatre since it opened last Fall. Very nice leather seats, inside the fancy shinning Westfield San Francisco.
But, I don't like "Reign Over Me."
Adam Sandler plays Charlie Fineman, who lost his wife and daughters during the "9/11." He turns into himself and shuts off the world surround him. One day, his college roommate Alan Johnson, a dentist played by Don Cheadle, spots him on a busy New York street. So this dentist becomes determined to bring Adam Sandler's character back to the real world, not only by introducing him to his psychologist friend, but even wait outside the door, or sometimes even go to the therapy session together. Never mind the doctor-patient confidentiality. Will Adam Sandler eventually deal his grief in a way others think he should?
If this question is laughable, so is the film. The problem of the film is it keeps trying hard to be a comedy, while the subject matter is quite heavy and is nothing funny about. One moment I become really concerned about Adam Sandler's wellbeing, but the next moment, I feel that he is pretending and just acting out with double lives.
I have seen great films about grief, such as "In the Bedroom." But "Reign Over Me" is not about a man in grief. The film never finds the right tone for what it tries to play. Just like the confused dentist himself who finally confesses that he hates to be a dentist.
Many characters in the films are more laughable, not in a funny way. The woman who wants to have sex with the dentist is simply absurd and ridiculous. I am not sure if she is gonna get any help she needs from the same psychologist helps Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle. Small city (New York City), uh?
And finally, the use of 9/11 of this film is simply a marketing scheme. I think it's a cheap shot to ask viewers to give Adam Sandler's character some sympathy up front by mentioning 9/11. Don't believe me? Try to replace 9/11 with some tragic accident for Adam Shandler's character. Any difference to the film? Not from the movie I saw tonight.
My rating: 3 out of 10.