The Family Man

Directed by Brett Ratner
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Piven.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sensuality and some language.

Review by Kelly Chippendale <>
December 28, 2000

This film moves slower than the advertising that promoted it. Nicolas Cage plays a similar role to that of his role in City of Angels where he changes from one role to a completely contrasting role. I thought the film was released at an appropriate time, milking the family value of the film in conjunction with the holidays.

The film begins in 1987 with Cage, an opportunistic business man, at a crucial point of his young adult life when he is face to face with his girlfriend, Kate (Téa Leoni), at the airport facing a life-changing choice. Kate asks him to stay and he chooses to go.

Then the film takes a leap to the future on Christmas Eve and Cage is working diligently on a billion-dollar merger. You can obviously see that his choice has lead to the finest things life can offer, but also his aloneness is evident. A turn of events occurs when a thief (Don Cheadle) enters the same deli as him to claim his money on a scratch-off ticket.

An altercation ensues when Cage steps in to make a "business deal" at gun point. He is successful and the two leave together to consummate the deal. Cage wants to help this man when the thief turns out to be like a ghost, helping him along the way stating, "You brought this on yourself!"

The film then takes a leap that night as Cage lies down to sleep. Cage is awoken and thrown into an unknown world that he must figure out for himself -- the role of a family man. It takes a look at the important things in life like family, love, and sharing.

It was a good story, but ran a little slower than I had anticipated. I expected more tears and drama and a more heart-wrenching story to make me realize how much more important non-material possessions and career aspirations are. It did convince me but not wholeheartedly. It could have been a bit more cuter on the children approach and the realistic side.

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The Family Man (2000)

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