Dave's Rating:

4.5

… a decent movie for thoughtful adult audiences …

Who's in It: Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler, Saffron Burrows, Donald Sutherland, Robert Klein, Melinda Dillon

The Basics: Adam Sandler! Whoo-hoo! The Price Is Wrong, b----! Oh, wait, it's a drama? About a 9/11 widower? And how he learns to start healing, sort of? And it's not stupid or exploitive in any way? And he doesn't have a magical epiphany and learn to love life at the end? Is there a horror movie about killer ventriloquist dolls playing I can buy a ticket for instead?

What's the Deal? This is, believe it or not, a decent movie for thoughtful adult audiences, one that also happens to star Sandler. He tried it once before when he starred in Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch Drunk Love, but this time it works out a little better for everyone. And it's not like he's turned into a completely different person or that the movie is without humor. In fact, his character is so regressive and childlike, it's almost as though Billy Madison grew up and became a grief-stricken New Yorker.

What It's Not: A 9/11 movie. And by that, I mean there's no significant reference to or re-enactments of that day and no forced weepiness. It's just about one guy's aftermath, and in the process of showing you this aftermath, it does a really good job of resisting gross stuff like "closure" and "catharsis." So if you avoided World Trade Center or United 93, here's one you might be able to deal with.

One Beef: The subplot featuring Burrows as a horny dental patient of Cheadle's seems shoehorned into the film as a way to get a hot chick floating in and out of scenes. And the way that Sandler gets to zoom around on nearly empty New York streets takes you out of the action and makes you wonder what a street-clearing-for-the-purpose-of-filming-an-Adam-Sandler-movie permit costs. OK, I know that's two beefs. I got on a little roll there.

Almost Makes Up for: Little Nicky, The Longest Yard.

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