Reviewed by: Kevin Burk
|Featuring:||Nicolas Cage … Jack Campbell
Téa Leoni … Kate Reynolds
Don Cheadle … Cash
Jeremy Piven … Arnie
|Producer:||Andrew Z. Davis, Marc Abraham, Tony Ludwig, Alan Riche, Howard Rosenman|
Nicolas Cage and Téa Leoni star in the latest holiday drama that provides a variation on the “It’s a Wonderful Life” theme—what would my life have been like if I had taken the “road less traveled?” Cage plays Jack Campbell, a successful, ruthless, driven Wall Street executive who receives a strange and wonderful gift, a glimpse at what his life could have been had he chosen to stay with his then-girlfriend Kate, rather than pursue an overseas business internship that ultimately doomed their relationship.
Jack is whisked away to a life he knows nothing of by a mysterious stranger. Waking up in the average suburban life, Jack finds himself with a wife (Kate), two kids, a dog and a mortgage. The usual fish out of water jokes are played for some laughs, especially Jack’s disgust at suddenly being denied all the “finer things” in life that he is accustomed to. But, along the way, he realizes that he could have a beautiful woman, wonderful children and a life that, while at times monotonous, is wonderful in its fill of simple joys and love. In the end, Jack realizes how much he loves this new life, yet must let this “unreal” life go. I won’t spoil the ending, but Jack, as you may guess, tries to put things to right in his “real” life upon his return.
This film, overall, had a good moral worldview, namely that one can have all this world can offer and still be missing out on the best things in life. Love, integrity and faithfulness are held in high regard. However, this film, unfortunately, doles out some very unnecessary content. There is a little profanity, some in front of children, nudity and sexual talk (though at least mostly between a husband and wife) and Jack’s “angel” pulls a gun on him in a scary holdup scene. Still, I recommend this film overall, just leave all but the oldest children at home.