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Reign Over Me
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Web Site:
Kiddie Movie: Not for the kids at all.
Date Movie: She'll get weepy, bring her along.
Gratuitous Sex: An offer of some oral sex and boob talk.
Gratuitous Violence: There's some fighting when Charlie goes berserk.
Action: No police chases here.
Laughs: There are some funny moments.
Memorable Scene: Yes, I got weepy when Charlie opened up to Alan.
Memorable Quote: Judge Raines: "Shut up."
Directed By: Mike Binder
Produced By: Michael Rotenberg, Jack Binder

Reign Over Me
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 2:08 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
The question I had as I was leaving "Reign Over Me" was simply "How in the hell is Alan going to be able to pick up his two daughters while riding Charlie’s scooter?" Mind you that was not the only question I had about the movie, but this one is a head-scratcher all over the place, although it did make me weepy.

Don Cheadle is Alan. He’s a dentist doing mostly cosmetic work, which pays well but we find out is unfulfilling. He’s also in a marriage that seems to be going downhill fast, even though he is in love with his wife, Janeane (Jada Pinkett Smith), because she pretty much is in control of his life and it is driving him nuts. Then one day Alan runs into Charlie (Adam Sandler), but Charlie seems to have no recollection that he was Alan’s roommate for a couple of years in college. It seems Charlie lost his wife, kids, and dog, as they were passengers on one of the planes that were crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11, and since then has retreated into his own little world where other than his love of album rock, he refuses to acknowledge the past, instead living in the present of playing video games and drumming at a punk club.

Alan now is becoming involved in Charlie’s life because, quite honestly, he likes the lifestyle Charlie has, but as an old friend he is concerned and wants to help Charlie get past the loss of his family. As such, Alan starts hanging out more and more with Charlie, much to the dismay of Janeane, and eventually gets Charlie to start to see a psychiatrist, in this case Angela (Liv Tyler), whom even though Charlie keeps going for his weekly session, he thinks she is too young to help him but likes her boobs. And I would like to say things work out happily ever after for everyone, but with the ending we are given, we just don’t know.

I suppose that’s enough of a synopsis because at its core, "Reign Over Me" is a touching story of someone who, because of intense tragedy, has shut himself off from the world, and when Charlie finally brings up his family to Alan, I got weepy, as did I think most of the people in the theater. But the problem is that Charlie’s behavior, long before his pseudo suicide attempt, reflect that Charlie should have been locked up in the mental ward months earlier. Why? Because at every turn when Alan would bring up family, or work, or anything that seemed like psychiatric questioning, Charlie goes on a violent tirade. I tend to not believe that Charlie’s temper has not gotten him into trouble before Alan. And then there is the side-story of Donna (Saffron Burrows), who asks to be a patient of Alan, then offers to blow him, then threatens to sue, then apologizes, and then we find out she is a patient of Angela’s, and might be the person to ultimately help Charlie.

Here’s some advice I have for you if you plan on seeing "Reign Over Me." First off, if you are a crier, bring lots of tissues because your waterworks will flow during two or three scenes in the movie. Second, suspend some disbelief in a couple of systems, namely the psychiatric care and the judicial (Donald Sutherland is Judge Raines, who although very entertaining, decides to let some other people do his job on deciding the fate of a truly disturbed man). And third, prepare for times during the movie when your thought will simply be "Get on with it, already."

"Reign Over Me" falls into that new category of movie, the dramady. At times it wants to be a drama, and at other times it wants to be a comedy. Unfortunately, for me, there were too many things that stretched too many limits that distracted me from the underlying story, especially the eventual use of the Donna character. It’s 2 ½ stars out of 5, even though Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle did put in good performances in their respective roles.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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