Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5  
The Family Man (2000)

If there's a problem with Chrimbo feelgood flick "The Family Man", then it's this: would top-flight banker Jack Campbell (Cage), a man who sleeps with beautiful models, lives in a luxurious penthouse and earns a whopping salary actually be happier as a working-class Dad living in the 'burbs?

Well, seeing as this is Hollywood, perhaps the most hypocritical place on Earth, he obviously would, because while some of the execs feed their cocaine and yacht-buying habits they're convinced the rest of us would be far happier living the simple life.

Which is what happens to Jack after a chat with cagey robber Cheadle, who promises him a "glimpse" of another world. A world where he is still with his childhood sweetheart Kate (Leoni), works in a tyre shop and is best friends with down-to-earth chaps like Piven. Suddenly, Jack wakes up in that place and do you think he likes it? Have a guess.

In fact, this is not just as simple as that, the film makers adding a couple of nifty layers to make Jack's transition a little less straightforward. Of course, it helps that Kate is played by a sparky, funny and bona fide fox like Leoni, as opposed to your normal sweetheart who you meet ten years later and find has put on two hundred pounds and is extremely bitter.

Taking its cue from classic weepie "It's A Wonderful Life", "The Family Man" is a nice movie, a pleasant change of pace for both Cage and director Ratner - normally behind the lens of mad action flicks like "Rush Hour".

But while you won't really cry or laugh, this kind of Tinseltown contrivance - although by no means a classic - is a decent enough diversion from the hell of Christmas shopping.

End Credits

Director: Brett Ratner

Writer: David Diamond, David Weissman

Stars: Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni, Jeremy Piven, Don Cheadle, Troy Hall, Harve Presnell, Josef Sommer, Paul Sorvino, Lisa Thornhill

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Length: 126 minutes

Cinema: 22 December 2000

Country: US

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