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Awesome: 10.94%
Worth A Look46.88%
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5 reviews, 34 user ratings

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28 Days
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by Chef ADogg

"Not perfect, but perfectly enjoyable."
4 stars

I admit it--I didn't think Sandra Bullock could pull it off. Which is to say, I had my doubts concerning her ability to play a reckless alcoholic who checks into rehab and finds a new lease on life.

Now, it's not that I don't like Bullock--she's an alright actress, she's been in a couple of decent flicks, and the lady has a nice smile. It's just somewhat hard to picture her amazingly peppy aura fitting comfortably into a "Leaving Las Vegas" atmosphere.

I'd like to say that, after watching "28 Days", I felt silly, and all doubts about her strengths as an actress were washed away by the film's overwhelming goodness. That's what I'd like to say. What I have to say, if I'm being honest, is that the movie works, but not on a very serious level. Sandra's not playing Nicolas Cage's role--she's basically doing the same character she played in "Speed"/"Forces of Nature"/"While You Were Sleeping," but with a few drinks in her this time.

Some people may see that as a bad thing, and those folks won't enjoy this movie very much. They'll probably call it formulaic, and fault the occasionally rote script, and point out that the characters are mostly just walking stereotypes standing in for real people. Personally, though, I quite enjoyed the film. While it would have initially been funny and cool to see Sandra Bullock in the kind of grainy, realistic movie that Mike Figgis might have delivered, the end product would probably end up pretty dreary--something that "28 Days" never is.

Indeed, this is probably the most fun I've ever had at a movie about an inconsiderate drunk. Betty Thomas, the directorial genius behind "Private Parts," brings just enough laughs to balance out the tears--alcoholism can be a rather depressing subject matter, so it's nice to see filmmakers having so much fun with it. A lot of that credit goes to screenwriter Susannah Grant, scoring twice in 2000 with this and "Erin Brockovich." The script for "28 Days" is punchy and funny in all the right places, but also knows when to cool the humor and acknowledge the seriousness behind the subject matter.

None of that stuff would matter, however, if the performances weren't spot on. Most of the characters are familiar, but the actors who portray them are so warm and funny that I didn't mind. In most movies, it might have been redundant, but "28 Days" has the exact opposite effect--it's cozy, like hanging out with old friends. Also, the actors must be credited for attempting one of the hardest tricks in the book (to make us care about essentially unlikeable characters) and pulling it off with flying colors.

Sandra Bullock's performance serves as the centerpiece, and it's out-and-out wonderful. My reaction early on was one of extreme weariness, as she seemed to once again be doing the whole "I'm so wacky that you love me" thing, but the scenes in which she does goofy, drunken things ultimately just serve as the set-up for a succession of increasingly satisfying, extremely emotional scenes in which her character realizes that she has a problem, and proceeds to deal with it.

"28 Days," it must be said, is as mainstream movie as you're going to find out there, and a lot of people may find the film's loose approach rather off-putting. I understand the concern with treating something as serious as alcoholism with sitcom jokiness, but the approach really works. The important thing here is that the central theme remains responsible, and the big budget/Sandra Bullock vehicle vibe really is a bonus. Think about it: If an indie director made a low budget flick with the same message, how many people would it reach? "28 Days" will almost certainly do good box office, and enlighten a good many people along the way.

In the end, "28 Days" is a very fulfilling enterprise. The filmmakers make nary a wrong step, and their message is delivered with a light-hearted forcefulness that's both refreshing and uplifting.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1855&reviewer=123
originally posted: 04/22/00 14:47:34
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User Comments

2/01/13 David Hollingsworth Pretty great! 4 stars
12/14/07 Pamela White sandra makes an addict movie funny 4 stars
5/08/07 David Pollastrini Boooooring! 2 stars
10/07/06 William Goss Tonally uneven dramedy that stumbles about like a, well, drunk and never finds its footing. 2 stars
8/16/05 ES One funny line agood movie does not make= Bullock please stop! 1 stars
6/18/04 Phil M. Aficionado It's not really a good film in some ways. How come I liked it? Sandra, maybe. 4 stars
12/09/03 Samuel not much! 2 stars
7/07/03 Pam Good movie, acting and story line. 4 stars
3/15/03 arwen oddstar the only bad thing was her alchoholism was pinned on everything but herself. 5 stars
9/01/02 movie guy greay 5 stars
8/15/02 I Can't Swim See 'Requiem for a Dream' for the reality; see this for the Hallmark version of addiction 1 stars
5/14/02 Blake This movie teaches about where people will end up if they drink and do drugs 5 stars
3/01/02 Xaver Good story...lightweight drama...some good humor 3 stars
2/11/02 Butterbean Just a sweet movie that wasn't as bad as people make it out to be 4 stars
2/08/02 Regurja Tate Sandra Bullock at her worst (saying a lot!) Title not movie's length; just seems that way. 1 stars
8/29/01 Gary Sandra really needs to stop digging any deeper. 2 stars
6/22/01 Justin Cheung Totally enjoyed it! Nuff said. 5 stars
4/23/01 X By-the-numbers rehab drama with cliches up the wazoo. Viggo rises above it at times 2 stars
10/04/00 terry c average movie made better by bullock 3 stars
10/02/00 Jed An underrated yet overlong consistently funny dramedy for bullock/buscemi,etc. 4 stars
9/30/00 Trina I cried 4 times 4 stars
9/27/00 Monday Morning Dramatic comedy? Um...yeah...right. Cough, cough. 2 stars
8/14/00 Chickiepoo Sandra Bullock can't act worth shit! 1 stars
7/09/00 JonnyA I liked it a lot, good characters, performances, etc. 4 stars
5/29/00 PEAKY HIGH BOY SANDRA BULLOCK is excellent in this DRAMA/COMEDY that will make you smile 5 stars
5/28/00 Belinda How pathetic! 1 stars
5/24/00 tom rush entertaining 4 stars
4/29/00 Sandy Stupid ideas, sloppy ending; but good Bullock, great Dominic West, and fantastic Buscemi 3 stars
4/27/00 Robin Mingle I thought the movie was absolutely wonderful. Full of entertainment. Sandra was excellent. 5 stars
4/20/00 tom rush interesting 4 stars
4/18/00 Chartsy Critics elsewhere have been harsh, but a pretty cute little movie 3 stars
4/16/00 "Persnickety" critics are being way too harsh with this movie, it is cute, and sends a good message! 4 stars
4/15/00 M.gunnerQuist Sandra Bullock fans will love it. Critics expected Macbeth or something-- I mean come on!! 4 stars
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  14-Apr-2000 (PG-13)


  25-May-2000 (M)

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