Reign Over Me Mike Binder

Reign Over Me Mike Binder
This film is everything you are not expecting from a mainstream Hollywood film, especially one where Adam Sandler gets top billing. It’s moving, genuine and witnesses some of Sandler’s most mature acting to date. The plot centres on Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle), a mild-mannered dentist who finds himself growing weary of his profession and matrimonial life. Everything changes when he runs into old college roommate Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler). Despite their having lived together, the dishevelled Fineman appears to have no memory of him. Johnson knows that Fineman’s entire family was wiped out in the tragedy of 9/11. Since then, Johnson lives alone in the former family home playing videogames, records and drums. Their relationship begins to re-grow itself as Johnson integrates himself into Fineman’s twisted world where anytime Johnson mentions therapy, Fineman explodes into fits of violent rage. The film focuses on their burgeoning relationship where the masculine, fun friendship that the two of them used to have is rekindled. It forces Johnson to reconsider his values, especially his marriage to his overbearing, boring wife (played by Jada Pinkett-Smith). The crux of the film is watching Fineman eventually begin to acknowledge that he once had a family and rebuild his life. Sandler’s monologue describing what 9/11 was like for him is one of the most powerful things I have seen in a film recently. Writer/director Mike Binder puts total trust in Sandler, working with him to create a powerful, individual character that fulfils the dramatic promise Sandler only hinted at in P.T. Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love. Teaming him up with Cheadle was a stroke of genius. An accomplished dramatic actor, the two play off of each other with humour and depth, and never once does it look like Sandler has to lean on Cheadle to get him through a scene. The special features are unfortunately lacking. The "making of” featurette is essentially a long interview with writer/director Binder. While he provides some interesting insights, a comment or two from others on the film would have been nice. Also included is a bluesy musical jam session that shows Cheadle and Sandler playing around during a scene. This film is certainly worth renting or buying, as it is beautiful and life affirming, two attributes that are sorely lacking in Hollywood today. (Sony)