Sunday, December 4, 2011

'The Family Man' Open Thread

  What did you think?


  1. I loved this story. I loved the mood of it, the feel. Jack Campbell, the successful Wall Street trader and deal maker, who steps out of his way to try to do something good, and the result is that he is flung into the topsy-turvey life of another man, a man he does not recognize. It is a nightmare existence, and Jack is at his wits ends trying to get out of it. The character Cage creates as Jack Campbell, the financial mover and shaker, was believable and likable, if somewhat foreign to me. It was great fun to watch his immersion into this other life, the reactions he has to it, the talk down his best friend has to give him, the unfamiliar and distasteful tasks he undertakes and that are his routine, it was really fun just to watch him. When he opens his closet to pick out his clothes for the Christmas party, the disappointment on his face and disgust in his tone were perfect.

    I loved the idea of Jack trying to understand the other Jack, what he did and why, and the slow reveal of the alternative life that Jack had chosen. The key for me was the relationship that Jack forms with little Annie. When he missed all of Christmas day, and has nothing but a little bell to show for it, which Annie sees and says "Thanks Dad" that struck me as right. Her dad for whatever reason had missed Christmas morning, but rather than being angry, she was ready to tell him that she liked the bell he had brought for her. It wasn't really for her, but she didn't know that. Children tend to live in the present, and don't hold on to disappointment.

    My favorite moment was when he was out with her in the snow, and with her looking down on him she says: "I knew you'd come back." That moment, and the moment at the end of the movie, where Jack tells Kate of his "glimpse".

    That was a fun one.

  2. Well, that was a good show. I'm looking forward to Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher and everybody's favorite, Sandra Bullock, in While You Were Sleeping. Should be up in a couple of days.

  3. Such a hurry you're in!

    I loved this movie so much I got that sweet feeling of being loved back.

    The only problem is, I don't have anywhere near enough time to comment properly, much less watch the next one, until Monday, earliest. So, I'll revisit* when I can.

    * I almost said "sneak my rejoinder on the dormant thread," but maybe nobody is in the mood for teasing, even with a winky-face. ;)

  4. You know, I think you're in the right of it. I am accidently hurrying myself, as if I were a holiday shopper bustling along. Well, let us slow down and take our time. We can take these at our ease, as leisurely as you like.

  5. Good! I hate to miss the fun!

  6. Darn! I just lost a long comment because my swollen fingers hit some unknown keyboard shortcut that reset the page! Bah Humbug!

    As I was saying, I just got done watching the film--before it became my Valentine's Day selection-- and it's a winner. At first I thought I was going to have some problems with it. I hate unfairness when the "powers that be" interfere in someone's life in the movies. But in this case, Jack's life reset to the exact moment when he "left" it and he was free to either choose to use what he had learned-- or ignore it, while having everything that he had in the works still in play. Nice touch!

    Of course what he got was a Christmas gift--something you don't see until the above played out. He got a reminder that Kate was someone that he could build his life with--or see that for the first time. Sure he saw that he might be a good father But that is subordinate to my first point. Seeing that a family might be important to him was another revelation, so maybe the kids and the whole family thing would be the box and the gift wrapping in this analogy. But the real gift was realizing that he needed to bring Kate back in his life. I think. Btw, I think it's pretty clear that they could never totally recapture the "Glimpse" life. They'll have to make one of their own, thirteen years the wiser and lot better financially set. And the next "Annie" will want a drum set and may take after him, instead of Kate. C'est la vie.

    Which leads to the movie's faults--and there are some. I'd have a hard time believing that Kate would be won over by a guy she hasn't seen for thirteen years telling her the names of their children and describing how Annie plays the violin and Josh, who has her eyes, sees everything, but doesn't talk much. And they live in Jersey. How could you ever explain any of that? Or live it down? Sure, he says it might be a dream, but still. I know they needed a three-minute wrap-up and it did get her attention. Thank God the movie is pre-TSA. She would have seen how he would act with a dozen Taser darts in him, writhing on the floor. I'd mention Jack leaving the door open in Winter in the Northeast when he came back into the house after his excursion back into the city, but I won't. The other flaws are worth discussing.

    After seeing the film and loving it, I took a trip across the Net and saw that most did not share my opinion. Maybe this movie is another friend/lover test. I personally think one should avoid those that don't like it.

    Btw, Annie and Josh had their Christmas--which generally consists of the kids opening their gifts. Those were there, even though their Mom may have been distracted with the phone while they were tearing though them. Gramma and Grandpa were there to help as well. Jack's panic attack didn't deprive anyone of Christmas. The bell was the perfect accessory for Annie though with that bike he took six hours to assemble.

  7. The other flaws aren't worth discussing.

    Remember the other version--it was a lot better and a heck of a lot wittier.