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Overall Rating
3.39

Awesome: 21.57%
Worth A Look: 23.53%
Just Average33.33%
Pretty Crappy: 15.69%
Sucks: 5.88%

7 reviews, 60 user ratings


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Family Man, The
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by Jason Whyte

"I'm Nicolas Caaaaage! I'm the Faaaaaamily Man!"
3 stars

There's always a surprise at Christmas time, and here is one of them: "The Family Man" is directed by Brett Ratner, who has helmed those pretty-okay "Rush Hour" movies and "Money Talks." Not THAT Brett Ratner, I said, it must be someone with the same name! Lo and behold, according to the Internet Movie Database and a recent interview, it's the same Mr. Ratner directing this nice if somewhat slight movie that echoes "It's A Wonderful Life," about a man who gets a second look at life.

Nicolas Cage is Jack, who is a businessman that is so kept up in his job that he keps everyone nearby to score big...and that even involves coming in on Christmas Day. Jack has no personal life, so much so that he hires an escort. His last girlfriend was over 13 years ago, when he left Kate (Tea Leoni) for London. The gods are watching himHe gets a chance when a guardian angel comes along -- as a black man named Cash (Don Cheadle). Jack goes to sleep and wakes up, only to find himself with the same Kate in a house in New Jersey.

Jack is in an alternate universe where he is Jack the Tire Dealer, with Kate who looks amazingly different, with two children, the two story in suburbia, and a whole group of quirky friends. Always typical in these stories, and it helps that a funny guy like Jeremy Piven plays one of them.

I admired the sequences in the movie with Jack's initial reaction to the change, and his eventual settling in to this new life. It helps that Tea Leoni is so good as Kate, who is, of course, oblivious to everything that this Jack is going through. She's used to the Jack she married 13 years ago. And I liked how Jack learns his lesson to be a better person.

In an interview with director Brett Ratner, he stated that this was a very emotional script and that he was born to make it. Er, okay, it's not an Oscar-winning script or anything Brett, and I'm sure you're off making "Rush Hour 3" as of this writing. At least he has a good director of photography here; Dante Spinotti, (who has done some films by Michael Mann and "L.A. Confidental.") makes all the town scenes feel all too real, the office scenes at Businessman Jack feel all high class, and moments of insight and revelation beautiful and sharp.

This isn't a terribly original or groundbreaking movie (it lingers at times, and the ending is slightly unconvincing), but it is a nice film when it works, and it works when I'm watching TV during Christmas. Despite the problems, I can really get suckered in for characters that get a chance to change their ways, and come out the better for it.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4609&reviewer=350
originally posted: 06/13/04 09:41:41
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User Comments

8/27/08 Shaun Wallner Nicholas Cage is great in all his films. 5 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT DISPICABLE AND INSIDIOUS 1 stars
3/01/08 Pamela White Cage plays great role 4 stars
11/17/07 Cory My favorite all-time movie!!! Get it!!! 5 stars
8/31/06 Michele okay 3 stars
9/02/05 Alan Failed to make me feel pity for a lonely millionaire. 3 stars
8/12/05 ES A reverse of 'Mr. Destiny' loses stars because its unoriginal and non-funny 2 stars
1/27/05 Charlie Very Realistic, true life 4 stars
1/18/05 Jeff Anderson THE BEST FILM OF DIRECTOR BRETT RATNER'S AND TEA LEONI'S ENTIRE CAREER, PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/28/04 Aaron Smith Sweet winter movie, check it out. 4 stars
6/13/04 Jack Sommersby Unsurpsing, with ho-hum charcters and lackluster direction. Watch "Mr. Destiny" instead. 2 stars
12/29/03 Samuel Great film! Definetly worth a look!! 4 stars
11/30/03 R.W. Welch Fey rom/com has decent script and very strong acting. 4 stars
10/31/03 Dustin Jackson Nicholas Cage is awesome in this movie. 5 stars
10/27/03 Tracie Smegelski Can't relate without having kids! 3 stars
3/17/03 Dark Barn Ta was better than Deep Impact and cuter and hotter as well 4 stars
3/06/03 Taylor Fladgate Funny! Tea Lenoi is red hot. Definitly a date movie. 4 stars
10/26/02 MarktheShark6 It's a good follow-up to Gone In 60 Seconds for Cage, and Ms. Leoni is very a great actress 5 stars
7/26/02 karen goldstein great movie - guy realizes that he is a typical asshole male and changes his ways! 5 stars
7/24/02 palaboy101 really good 5 stars
4/27/02 Logan Bianchi Actually, I loved this movie... very funny 5 stars
1/13/02 Flick Chick really just average - but an extra star because Nick's in it :) 4 stars
1/02/02 Bada Bing Crosby What can I say, there was nothing else on 3 stars
12/09/01 Val very sweet 4 stars
11/29/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) It's okay.Nicolas Cage is a kickass actor.It's the biggest reason I felt like seeing it. 4 stars
11/29/01 The $1.98 Pyramid Cage better than I expected. 4 stars
9/16/01 Bri Ok, but needed to see Tea's wet rack. 3 stars
9/16/01 juli i loved every bit of it. my husband and i grabbed each others hands more than a few times 5 stars
8/20/01 The Bomb 69 I rather enjoyed it, ending kept it from 5 stars 4 stars
8/06/01 seldom scene makes you wonder if you should chase your past or be glad you have what is now. a little pr 4 stars
8/01/01 D.R. It is so refreshing to see a movie like this. An awesome story and very entertaining. 5 stars
7/30/01 Monday Morning Wanted to see Tea and the neighbor lady nekkid, but...not bad anyway. 4 stars
7/22/01 candace he should play superman... 5 stars
6/07/01 Peter Brook I expected this to be utter crap - but it's not. Very, very elegant film, great acting. 5 stars
4/01/01 Andrew Carden I would wait until it comes out on video, unless you're desprate. 3 stars
2/15/01 viking Not Nicolas Cage's best, but still entertaining 4 stars
2/12/01 Laura You see all the good parts in the previews - very predictable! 3 stars
2/07/01 Ray It is wonderful...I love it and I love Nic...he is the best 5 stars
2/07/01 Karen It is wonderful...I love it and I love Nic...he is the best 5 stars
2/04/01 Diego Romero More of Sliding Doors than Its a Wonerful Life 5 stars
1/14/01 Chris Drake Exquisite, despite dream device 5 stars
1/14/01 tanja great movie 5 stars
1/11/01 LA not even heart warming - heart warming crap 2 stars
1/11/01 Boy In The Designer Bubble I haven't seen this much wooden acting since Howdy Doody went off the air. 1 stars
1/05/01 Movie Freek It's not that bad. Leoni and Cage rule, but the ending really really undermines the rest. 3 stars
1/04/01 Philm Phreak Nice Ferrari 3 stars
1/03/01 Nessus Sappy, and Cage walks around in a stupor for 1/2 the movie. A good movie to bring your Mom 4 stars
1/02/01 Collegebrat19 It is a "feel good movie" with enough humor to keep entertained for the whole 2 hours. 5 stars
1/01/01 John Jurik Better than I thought it would be (based on reviews). Tea & Nic do a good job. 4 stars
12/31/00 Joe Smaltz pretty mediocre, Would you like Armani or a Bowling shirt? Come on! 2 stars
12/31/00 j joseph excellent 5 stars
12/27/00 chouck It was good and less sappy than I expected 3 stars
12/26/00 Michael Jimenez Great Date Movie - Very Sentimental for couples 4 stars
12/25/00 poetchuck Great "Its a wonderful life" clone 5 stars
12/24/00 Chris Trader THE Christmas Movie For 2000 5 stars
12/23/00 Jareth David Cuz many people don't appreciate what they HAVE and are greedy & clueless by nature. 5 stars
12/22/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble These kinds of flicks are made so poor guys like us can feel better about our crummy lives. 1 stars
12/21/00 Fellini Stupid boring movie save yourselves 1 stars
12/11/00 James Clark God-it sucks 1 stars
12/11/00 Selina Kyle this movie was horrible you were too nice to that ugly stiff leoni and money is not all bad 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  22-Dec-2000 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  25-Jan-2001 (M)


Directed by
  Brett Ratner

Written by
  David Diamond
  David Weissman

Cast
  Nicolas Cage
  Ta Leoni
  Jeremy Piven
  Don Cheadle
  Troy Hall
  Josef Sommer



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