Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"The Family Man" 2000

"The Family Man"

I went to see this movie on a dark and snowy night.  My husband was staying home for two reasons.  The first being basketball.  He had a friend over to watch a game.  The other reason was mice.

I have mentioned I have an unreasonable fear of mice.  There are the reasonable reasons, they are vermin who can make countless babies and take over.  The rest of my reasons, well they creep me out and they can jump like four feet in the air.  I hate rodents.

Until a few years ago when we replaced our stove we would get at least one mouse a year.  But in 2000 we had an infestation.  There were sightings of more than one mouse.  We live near a river, it gets cold and the evil little rodents make their way anywhere warm.  So I told my husband to do what he had to do and get rid of them.   Just like some bad a$$ mafia boss!

Not you Mr. Jingles.  I still like you!

So my husband set up traps and sat back to watch his game.  Over the next several hours the traps kept snapping.  He would go during breaks and clear away the well, there is no delicate way to say it, the bodies.  I have no sympathy for mice. 

So after the movie I called to see if it was safe to come home.  I was ready to check into a hotel.  He assured me that there hadn't been a snap for almost an hour.   A total body count of nine mice.  I didn't feel bad about it at all.  Even when he told me that they kept getting smaller that cold spot in my heart just felt good.

But on to the movie.  It was worth venturing out to see this movie. 

It follows the map of "A Christmas Carol" and "It's A Wonderful Life."  Nic Cage is Jack Campbell, a successful business man living the dream.  He has a big job, great apartment, hot women and a fast car.  One night he intervenes at a convenience store and ends up with a guardian agent.

Don Cheedle as the angel Cash decides to give Jack a "glimpse" of what could have been.

The next morning, instead of waking up in his Manhattan penthouse he is jarred awake by two kids and a dog jumping into his New Jersey bed.   He is further shocked to see his college sweetheart turn over next to him. 

In a panic he runs out the door to find out what is going on.  After another run in with Cash, who is driving Jack's car, he discovers he is stuck.

He is quickly entrenched in family life.  But his daughter Annie is pretty smart.  She sees that he has no clue what is going on.   But she has a theory.

Annie: Do you like kids?
Jack: On a case-by-case basis.
Annie: Do you know how to make chocolate milk?
Jack: I think I could figure it out.
Annie: Promise you won't kidnap me and my brother and plant stuff in our brains?
Jack: Sure.
Annie: Welcome to earth.
Tea Leoni is excellent as Kate.  She is smart and sarcastic and keeps Jack on his toes. 

He is flustered as he tries to pick up their shared history, since he missed the last 13 years.

Jack: Well, you know everything worked out. I mean, I like Annie.
Kate: Well, good Jack, maybe we'll keep her.

After a little adjustment time he falls in love with the life he missed. 

But just as he has accepted the new life and love he is back in his old one. 

There is a great end scene where he has to convince Kate that they are meant to be together.  The movie is sweet and Nic Cage does a good job but only because Tea Leoni and the little girl make it real.  You can understand why he'd want to recapture his lost life. 

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