Directed by Brett Ratner
Running Time: 2:04
Rated PG-13 sensuality and some language.

In the spirit of the holidays, comes The Family Man a movie about what might have happened, if you chose a different path. It was a nice family film that hit all the right chords. Laughing, crying, happiness and sorrow all rolled up into one nice film.

Nicolas Cage stars as Jack Campbell. In 1987, Jack made a choice. He decided to go to London and take an internship, rather than stay behind, and marry his girlfriend Kate (Téa Leoni). Move to Christmas Eve year 2000, and Jack is a wealthy man, working long hours, getting all sorts of women, and seemingly happy. One night he runs into a guy named Cash (Don Cheadle) who changes his life forever. For reasons never fully explained, Jack is given a glimpse into what might have been. He is overnight transplanted into the life he could have led, had he given up London, and stayed with Kate. In this life, he's a tire salesman, with Kate being a non-profit lawyer. They have two kids, and live in Teaneck, New Jersey. It's an average life, but for Jack, it's a big step down from Wall Street. Not fully understanding what is happening to him, soon Jack begins to settle into this new life and enjoy it because it gives him everything he needs, even if he never realized he needed it. But once he understands that, the glimpse is over, and it's up to him to find Kate and see if his dream can become a reality.

I enjoyed The Family Man. Cage and Leoni worked pretty well as a couple. Cage has a good 'what the hell is going on here' attitude that works well in a romantic comedy like this one. Leoni manages to break out of her 'I want to be the next Lucille Ball' persona and puts a lot of heart into the film. And the kids are extremely cute, especially Makenzie Vega as Annie (although the diaper changing scene was a little graphic for my taste). It's a movie that's made to try and break your heart, and make you think about family and feel all sorts of love and happiness during the holidays, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It's nice to see a movie that at its core is about family instead of some of the other stuff that's made today. Cage and Leoni are good together, and that's what makes the film work. The story is a little hokey at times, but again, that's not a bad thing. It all works here. As long as you can get past the basic premise, the rest of the movie falls into place. And the movie doesn't hit you with a 'everything works out' happy ending, it leaves you, and the characters wondering what's going to happen next.

There's not a lot to say about The Family Man. Cage and Leoni are an appealing couple, and the movie is a nice family story that leaves you wanting to see more. So overall I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it for the entire family this holiday season.

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reviewed 12/25/00

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Wolfpack Productions