The Family Man (2000)
Critic Consensus: Despite good performances by Cage and especially by Leoni, The Family Man is too predictable and derivative to add anything new to the Christmas genre. Also, it sinks under its sentimentality.
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Critic Reviews for The Family Man
It's rare that an American movie lets slip such a snobbish distaste for the humdrum lives of its blue-collar audience base, but of course it doesn't last.
A series of moments, sentimental and comic, that never do add up to a coherent fable.
Its emotional core makes it easy to appreciate as a classical (if not classic) entertainment.
Ratner isn't a capable enough director to work the alchemy needed to make this cheese into gold.
Leoni is a revelation. Vibrant and gorgeous, she plays her role of the determined mother in love with teasing, salty charm, providing just enough grit to save the film from Ratner's slushy direction.
Audience Reviews for The Family Man
Good storyline and a great film with Nicolas Cage making a great 'Family Man' character. A must see!
Corporate raider and hedonist playboy Nicolas Cage wakes up one morning to find himself living the life he would have led if he'd not chosen his career over an old girlfriend. In other words:
1 Cage wakes up surrounded by kids and associated mess
2 Runs around shocked by the fact that all his rich pals don't recognise him
3 Is horrified by nappies
4 Has a trademark Cage rant about how crappy his new life is
5 Finally learns "what's important"
6 Is dumped back in his old life, to his dismay
7 *Hallmark moment*
As you can see, The Family Man follows the formula of the feelgood holiday movie to the letter and will warm either your heart or your sick bucket depending on taste. As a film, I'd have to say it's too long and not particularly funny although Don Cheadle's all too brief appearance is reasonably enjoyable. I would have to point out that I doubt that anyone involved in producing this film has to clip coupons or shop at K Mart, so being told by a bunch of rich people that "money isn't everything" smacks of hypocrisy AT BEST. At least I got to see Tea Leoni dancing in the shower which almost makes up for the two hours I wasted watching this predictable pap.
Seems to rarely look at the theme it claims to convey--that married life is preferable to being single. What it really does is contrast being wealthy to being middle-class, though the comparisons it makes mean little. While the final, quasi-climactic scene at last satisifies the wont for a wholly title-appropriate theme the film so lacks, it does so far too late and with little meaning as the ending neither satisfies nor leaves the viewer happy or optimistic. A decent film, still; Cage's and Leoni's chemistry is great and the screenplay isn't terrible. It's just completely off-message for the majority of the film.
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