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Reign Over Me


Stars: Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Saffron Burrows, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland, Mike Binder, Melinda Dillon

Director: Mike Binder

Rather edgily based on the 9/11 disaster, this drama with comic undertones spotlights Sandler as Charlie, a man whose entire family was killed in one of the aircraft that crashed into the Twin Towers. His old college chum Alan (Cheadle), a successful if less-than-happy dentist, re-encounters Charlie as a lost soul, gliding through the New York twilight on a motorised scooter.

While drifting into what turns into a demanding relationship with Charlie, Alan is drifting away from his own wife (Pinkett Smith) and trying to fend off the rather unbelievable advances of the equally disturbed Miss Remar (Burrows), who turns up at his practice for a 'veneer', and offers him oral sex.

Meanwhile, the lugubrious Charlie draws Alan into his world of video games, and the club where he beats frenziedly on the drums.

Sandler does pretty well in this straight role, and certainly looks better with longer hair (as in The Wedding Singer). Cheadle is as reliable as ever, but can't bring that extra yard to the character that would make us empathise with the crises in his life. And the 9/11 connection seems uneasily tacked on.

It's a movie that has its moments, but never quite hits the bullseye - the weight of its over-length often seeming too heavy for the thinness of its plot.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Columbia/Sony. Colour by De Luxe.
124 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 13 Apr 2007