Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Adam Sandler’s Best
I’ve been known to praise movies that take your typical comedian and transform him into something else entirely. These kind of movies do a really great job at presenting an actor’s talent range,and they do a surprising job with some actors. There’s Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction, Jim Carrey in The Majestic and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and then there’s Adam Sandler in one of his most incredible performances in a long time, and maybe ever – Reign Over Me. Sure, he’s had other more serious roles in the past, but you always thought…okay…that’s Adam Sandler acting serious. Reign Over Me transformed his entire personality to the point where when you watch, you might forget that he’s actually Sandler at all.
Our movie introduces us to a peculiar young and quiet man named Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler). Something in the past, a tragedy, changed his very life forever. When a former colleague of his shows up, the two of them re-strike up an old friendship. Soon, his old friend begins to realize just how much help he really needs, and how absolutely grief-stricken he is and how much the power of friendship can change a person’s life.
I normally like films that have a solid plot, and I don’t know if I would really say that’s apparent here. However, where the plot lacks, it definitely makes up for it with the characters. I truly believe this is Adam Sandler’s best role. The clothes he was made to wear, the hair he was made to dawn, the antics of a grief-stricken loner he was made to act…it was all so phenomenal and different from what you’re used to seeing that you’ll just end up loving it. Not only that, but when the movie begs Adam to put on an unforgettable emotional performance, he actually does it – and I can’t say that’s bad. As for Don Cheadle, I still hold that he’s an incredible actor, but it’s not so unique for this film alone. What I will say, is that the friendship chemistry between the two is legendary and charming – giving us all hope that when in doubt, there is at least one person out there who will be your friend when you need them to be. One person who will be unconditionally accepting and friendly – and the way Cheadle plays that off is stunning.
The whole plot is based around the event that caused the change in Charlie’s life. This is something I won’t write in my review, but most people know what that is…it’s in the plot description on IMDb, for crying out loud. All I will say is that when I first saw it in theater, it was a much stronger film when the audience didn’t know the exact source of his pain. When you learn, it’s more emotional and you feel so much more for his character when the truth is revealed. Maybe that’s just me, but knowing firsthand is kind of cheap and ruins the experience. I mean, if a movie isn’t going to have a solid plot, at least keep the mystery alive.
I’ve never cried during a movie, but sometimes I can understand why people do. I connect with the film on a different level and feel for the characters. Like I said…I don’t cry, but you won’t see me laughing at you if you do, and as Netflix states on the categories for this film – it’s a drama and tearjerker. It’s one of the few that I would understand getting to people. That’s all I have to say about that.
This movie has one of the best performances put on my Adam Sandler in a long time, he does a great job performing as a grief-stricken man barely holding on – and his friendship with Don Cheadle’s character is so perfect…it just all fits together.
The film is a little long, and there are lulling moments where you really do want the movie to move along faster and get to the point.
At first Adam Sandler declined his part because he was terrified of it, although he thought the character was incredible after he read the script.