The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

83° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Sandler gets serious with ‘Reign Over Me’

    Don Cheadle, left, and Adam Sandler, right, star in the drama Reign Over Me. The film follows Sandler as his character deals with the loss of his family in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Bring along a box of tissues for this one.
    Don Cheadle, left, and Adam Sandler, right, star in the drama ‘Reign Over Me.’ The film follows Sandler as his character deals with the loss of his family in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Bring along a box of tissues for this one.

    While Adam Sandler’s last movie, “”Click,”” may have hinted at a move toward more grown-up roles, “”Reign Over Me”” clinches Sandler’s capability of being a dramatic actor. Now, the Adam Sandler of “”Saturday Night Live”” days has disappeared and entered the Sean Penn School of Acting.

    Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle), a dentist, is driving home from work one day when, out of the corner of his eye, he catches sight of his old college roommate on the street. He subsequently tracks him down and finds out his old friend is a complete mess.

    While Alan has troubles of his own, they’re nothing compared to Charlie’s. Ironically named Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler), he lost his entire family in the 9/11 attacks. Since the pain of the loss is just too much for Charlie, he has completely blocked out everything and is living a solitary life.

    Alan slowly works his way back into Charlie’s life. Their friendship blossoms again as they play video games, go out for late-night Chinese food and watch a Mel Brooks movie marathon. Charlie is fine until Alan tries to mention anything about his old life. When Charlie snaps repeatedly, Alan realizes that his friendship isn’t enough; Charlie needs professional help to make him talk out his issues. Getting Charlie to open up is a harder process than anyone expected, though.

    The characters in “”Reign Over Me”” are an interesting role reversal. Sandler takes on the serious character, while Cheadle handles most of the jokes. Cheadle’s facial expressions are less over-the-top than Sandler’s would be if he were in the role. That doesn’t mean they’re worse, however; a flick of Cheadle’s eyes or wrinkle of his brow help punctuate the punch lines.

    Although Sandler channels his “”Waterboy”” character with the way he speaks, his slow and halting way of talking reinforces that he’s in a deep fog. When Sandler finally opens up about his family, you can see him coming out of the figurative cloud. Although 9/11 automatically invokes feelings of sadness and sympathy, you feel the tears welling up in your eyes because the strength of the acting, rather than the contrived situation.

    “”Reign Over Me””
    Rating: R
    Length: 124 min.
    Production Company: 3 Art Entertainment
    8/10

    Cheadle and Sandler also have a palpable chemistry, which makes the rekindled friendship on-screen seem very real. Their playful banter seems like something that was kindled over years, rather than the month or two over which the movie lasts. The screenwriters add to this as well by casually dropping in hints or mentions of inside jokes that were established back in their college days.

    Forget about fart jokes and potty humor that used to come from Sandler’s direction. The new, mature Adam Sandler is here to stay, and that’s a very good thing.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search