Running Time: 2 hrs. 8 min.
Release Date: March 23rd, 2007 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual references.
Distributors: Sony Pictures Releasing
Directed by: Mike Binder
JJ Rating: A
Let’s see…how to explain Reign Over Me without totally explaining it? Don Cheadle is married to Jada Pinkett-Smith. Adam Sandler is the long lost friend from college that Cheadle happens to run into on the way home one day. Saffron Burrows is a crazy patient of Cheadle’s dentist office. Liv Tyler is a psychiatrist friend of Cheadle who he talks to on the way to the car sometimes. Cheadle is stuck in a rut when he meets up with Sandler and ends up feeling as if he’s getting out of the rut. In turn Cheadle helps Sandler get out of the rut he’s stuck in. This movie is based on friendship and friendship alone without having some whore come along and pull on the strings of both men and ruin it. It is the simple strength in the bonds of friendship that hold this well made movie together.
I’m going to state how not wonderful the viewing of this film in the theater was. I was sitting with my friend and next to her ended up being a family with a young child. The father, I assume, sat RIGHT next to my friend. The theater was not packed and we were not going to move because that’s where we wanted to sit. So that was a bad start. Then the wife talked on the phone and talked loud enough to be heard. Then the daughter giggled and laughed and talked through parts of the movie. You know it’s a drama so really if there is any humor it’s not something a child could get plus her laughing was never at the right time. She seemed to be only about 7 or younger. Horrible parents if they can’t keep a child quiet in a movie theater and horrible parents for taking a child selfishly to a movie only they wanted to see. This child shouldn’t see a rated R movie let alone sit through it because they wouldn’t understand what was going on. Then there was the old woman behind us who got on her phone and talked to someone. Not only could I hear her but I heard the other person on the other end…clearly. And last and least favorite was the man who was two seats down from me who started to hack and cough the last good 20 minutes of the movie.
This made the view experience dreadful and I wanted to see this movie and so it sort of tainted my viewing but as I replay parts of the movie in my head and what I liked I had to up the grade I had originally from a B to an A. I cannot really state there is anything in this movie that I dislike a whole lot. Maybe the main thing I really didn’t like was the slow pace of the movie but I expected that. I did not totally expect some of the amounts of slowness that I encountered but I got over that and enjoyed the movie.
I liked Cheadle and Pinket-Smith they were awesome as husband and wife. They had this connection that worked and this one scene in the movie where she knew something and he thought he could hide it well and she called him out was funny. I liked how their relationship was presented. I really do it was refreshing to see a marriage that was strong and had a problem but the problem wasn’t going to rip them apart. Pinket-Smith was very charismatic with her role.
Burrows was also amazing with body language and her voice. She had to have a pushy personality combined with a timid woman. She interwove the two flawlessly.
Sandler is saved for last because I think he did an outstanding job. He used that same voice he uses when he is in comedies. It was when a character got angry that kind of voice…well if you don’t know then watch one of his old movies and refresh your memory. He used it in this movie and it fit. This character was tone down from his other acting gigs. He had to be lowly and then in a split moment become extremely angry and the transition from the one to the other was spectacular. Cheadle and him had chemistry and the friendship vibe that they had to have in a movie like this was seen even in their moments of silence…oh and video game playing.
The combo of these five actors provided me with a great movie that I think I’m going to buy. If you take anything away from this review you have to understand that the movie is not fast paced. It’s not like watching grass grow but if you do not like a lot of talking then this movie is not for you. There is a lot of talking. There are witty moments and they are very good and most of them very funny but they are few and far between the serious talking that occurs.
The friendship angle is the main reason I even bothered with this movie. If the trailer did not mention friendship I might have just skipped it. I’m sick of TV and movies making friendship like something that can be easily put together and just as easily dropped for no good reason. If I were an alien and I only had to watch TV and movies to study humans I’d think that humans were socially inept and I would be amazed that they’ve lasted this long.
Reign Over Me presents and delivers a friendship movie that I have been waiting for. I love friendships and I would love to see more movies based on friendships then who can get the most booty in 2 hours with witty one-liners---like comedy and dramas. Don’t get me wrong I like comedies like the Wedding Crashers but it’s like eating pizza every day (love pizza) and then one day getting a good steak. It’s refreshing and your taste buds would dance and you’d remember why you love to eat. Reign Over Me reminded me why I love movies so much.