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Family Man

Director:Brett Ratner
Writers:David Diamond, David Weissman
Universal Pictures; PG-13; 120 minutes
Release:12/00
Cast:Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni, Don Cheadle

Following an ancient model most recently used in The Legend of Bagger Vance, the white guy in Family Man gets his life spiritually jump-started by the intervention of an angelic black caricature. Don Cheadle plays the magic black thug who exists solely to show Manhattan power broker Jack (Nicolas Cage) where true happiness lies. Sure, Jack has a Ferrari and a penthouse and women primed for a photo shoot in one, but the morning after meeting Cash (Cheadle), he wakes next to his high school sweetheart (Téa Leoni) in a New Jersey suburb. Thing is, Jack opted not to marry her years before. Suddenly he's saddled by kids, a mortgage, and a less than glamorous job. He's not too happy here either, but just wait until Jack gets foisted back into his seven-figure income life.

Family Man works like Dr. Frankenstein, pirating chunky pieces from A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Like to create a lumbering monster without a heart. While contemplation of “what if” is an intriguing possibility, generations of men in mid-life crisis have used it to justify all sorts of childish things. Among them, include the filming of Family Man.


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