#47 The Family Man
Director: Brett Ratner
MPAA Rating: PG-13
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Epic Co-stars: Tea Leoni, Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Sr.Running Time: 125 mins
Cage Time: 95%
Cage Kills: 0
Cage Flip-outs: 5
James' Review: You may be thinking to yourself "Sure, Mr. Cage can nail high flying action, insane criminals, art-house trash, and even a grind house style hero. But can he really play a down to earth guy who you root for because you really like him?" Well wonder no more... The answer is a firm YES. And in true Cage fashion he while also wearing a $1,000 suit and driving a Ferrari.
Jack (Nic Cage) is a successful, narcissistic Wall Street broker. He lives in a penthouse apartment in Manhattan, enjoys casual sex with model-esque strangers, and drives an amazing Ferrari (you'll recall his stipulation about driving awesome cars in all of his movies). After working late on Christmas Eve, he intervenes in a convenience store stick-up and finds himself telling Don Cheadle that, although "everybody needs something," he has everything he needs. Turns out Don Cheadle is an angel or something, and he takes this as a challenge to show Jack a glimpse of what he's missing-- namely, an alternate life where he marries his college girlfriend, Kate, and raises kids with her in New Jersey. Finally an answer to the question of what to get the guy who seemingly has everything.
The Family Man is an instant Christmas classic. It draws themes from both A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life (Cage is even a bit Jimmy Stewart-esque at times). All of the classic Christmas fodder is there: Christmas parties, cute kids, a guy who doesn't know what he's missing, a guy who finally figures out what he's missing, and asshole being told off, and more feel good family love than you would care to have crammed into two glorious Cage enriched hours. Really all that is missing is a talking snowman and an elf who desperately wants to become a dentist.
In all, The Family Man sets the stage for Dr. Cage to once again establish himself as a well rounded actor that can make a strong human connection. It's easy to peg Cage as an over the top action hero who does nothing but kick ass and take names. But when he needs to (and the script calls for it), The Family Man shows that he can easily put on the charm and pull on your heart strings. He reminds us here that although money and prestige are very alluring, they are really just a temporary plug for the void left by the absence of true love from family and friends. This serves as a nice parallel to his acting career; so many high flying roles dazzle us in the moment but ultimately leave us wanting more from the characters he plays. But once in a while when you really need it Cage fills your soul with his all powerful and unbounded love to once again show you what really matters in life.
|If Dr. Cage ever decides he's tired of being the wold's #1 actor he can easily switch over to being the world's #1 topless opera singer.|
|Yet another unsuspecting and helpless victim.|
|It's a treat for any small child to get the chance to encounter pure excellence at such an early stage in life.|
|This sums up the true divine spirit and nature of Dr. Cage better than any number of words ever could.|
- "You're a credit to capitalism, Jack."
- "Old flames are like old tax returns. Put 'em in the filing cabinet for three years, then cut 'em loose."
- "Not cute. Not cute!"
- "You mean because you thought I was cocky, I am now on a PERMANENT! ACID TRIP!?"
- "I'm sorry I was such a saint before, and I'm such a PRICK! NOW!"
- "Forget it. We'll get a funnel cake. It'll be the highlight of my week."
- "This is New York, this is like the needy people capital of the world. Your Jersey clients aren't a tenth as needy as the clients you'll have here."
- This is a stupid plot hole, but everyone wants me to point out that someone who was going to have triple bypass surgery the following day would already be in the hospital, not at a party.