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Duane Hopwood (2005)

David Schwimmer , Janeane Garofalo  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Schwimmer, Janeane Garofalo, Judah Friedlander, John Krasinski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,448 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Duane Hopwood" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by actor David Schwimmer and director Matt Mulhern
  • Trailer

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

(Drama) David Schwimmer stars as Duane, a down-on-his-luck divorced father who works the night shift as a pit boss at Caesars Palace in Atlantic City. Heartsick about the demise of his marriage to Linda (Janeane Garofalo), he does nothing but work and drink. When his visitation rights are threatened after he's caught driving while intoxicated with his daughter in the backseat, Duane decides that the time has come to get his life back on track before he loses everything. DUANE HOPWOOD is a moving and humorous look at the limits of unconditional love, what defines a family, and how we're all responsible for our own happiness.

DVD Features:
Audio Commentary
Theatrical Trailer

Duane Hopwood finds David Schwimmer delivering one of the best performances of his career as an alcoholic, divorced dad whose luck is running out and whose compromised judgment is costing him access to his kids. Duane, a pit boss at an Atlantic City casino, jeopardizes visitation rights with his two daughters when he's caught driving drunk with one of the girls asleep in his car. That mistake sets into motion a number of others, pushing Duane into a corner of despair precisely when he needs to maintain stability to see his children. Writer-director Matt Mulhern, best known as a character actor, resists the temptation to turn his story into a cautionary nightmare about the evils of addiction. Subtle, low-key and frequently wry, Duane Hopwood is really a smart film about how hard yet inevitable it is for anyone to outgrow a broken life and allow the elements of a new one to form. Janeane Garofalo, somewhat unrecognizable under platinum-blonde hair, is very good as Duane's sympathetic but determined ex-wife, and Judah Friedlander slowly but surely grows on one as Anthony, a yammering, would-be comic whose loyalty to Duane really matters in the clutch. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A schizo film... December 31, 2006
While I watched this film, it was schizophernic. There were some good dramatic moments, balanced with ridiculously cute montages, badly written supporting characters, and inane dialogue. David Schwimmer is OK as the title character. I never watched Friends on a regular basis, so I don't think of Ross like other people might when they see him. He's not a total disaster in this dramatic role, but he doesn't give an Oscar worthy performance. The character of Duane's ex-wife (nicely played by Janeane Garofalo, who does the best she can with her underwritten role) is a good example of what's wrong with the film. At the beginning, she is adamant about her anger and her decision to divorce him. At the end of the film, she's forgiving of him, and they part friends, despite the fact that she is moving to South Carolina with their kids and her new boyfriend. That type of logic plays more like a sitcom than it does a film that supposed to be a realistic depiction of alcoholism. The filmmakers never really give us a clear reason as to why Duane started drinking. He's still in love with his (now) ex-wife, he loves his kids, and he likes his job. Duane mentions his parents with affection, so he wasn't abused as a child. But he drinks nevertheless. There is also awkward comic relief (provided by Duane's roomate, an aspiring standup comic played by Judah Friedlander) that really illustrates the two faces of this film. Duane's relationship with a sympathetic bartender seems tacked on. There is one excellent scene where Duane has a breakdown in a casino, but it's nearly ruined by the standup comic's constant yammering throughout it. Overall, it's an up and down film, and not sure what kind of film it wants to be...
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From Kramer to Hopwood April 23, 2006
Every five modern drama made in the last three decades at least one was about divorced family or in some way involve the divorcee and their children. It took Hollywood cinema that long to come to terms with this social phenomenon. David Schwimmer (as Duane Hopwood) is struggling to reverse the denial of his visiting right to his children after he was caught drunk-and-drive while his daughter was in his car in the beginning of `Duane Hopwood' (2005).

The film is brief and precise in portraying Schwimmer, as a loving husband and father of two but needed to go to work in a casino at odd hours and as a result too tired to attend to his daughters and wife, within the first few minutes through a series of speechless montage. Even we are under the impression Duane has drinking problem, throughout the film this problem and his behavior disorder are never revealed in depth. Neither the cause of his dismissal from the job or his hostility toward his ex-wife's boyfriend is due to his drinking problem. Even his wife, who filed the denial of his visiting right to the children and finally decided to take the children away to another town, is not portrayed as cruel and unreasonable but rather sympathetic on the contrary.

Unlike many films before starting `Kramer vs. Kramer' (1979), it is obvious that this film does not make anyone or any societal situation as an escapegoat to the cause of the divorce and its unfortunate result. Many others till this day, like `The Squid and the Whale' (2005) and `The Weather Man' (2005), still tries to find the cause of the tragedy of divorce family in one of its characters' personality deficiency. And their efforts will never present us a satisfactory remedy.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Film on Alcoholism April 29, 2006
This is a great film. Every character is played beautifully, including the 2 lucky children who got to play David Schwimmers daughters. If you want to see another side of David Schwimmer in his first serious role since friends be sure to check this one out. Beware!... It is a moving film that'll get you laughing all the while making you think! Kudo's to Director Matt Mulhern for a great film.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely surprise. May 1, 2006
By Grey
I admit that I didn't expect much going into this. Whiney "Ross"... as a lead role in a serious movie? I mean c'mon!!

*eating those words*

By the end of the film, I had to completely reassess my feelings toward David Schwimmer. Give the fellow a good role and he will shine! Two scenes exemplify: the discussion with his ex's new beau over his daughter's weight (i.e. when he grabs the baseball bat) and his trip to AA. Wow. I'd have never guessed him capable of such intensity. Janeane Garofalo really surprised me as well. Who knew!?!?!!

I often hear negative comments regarding the film's slow pace. As if "slow" is a thing to be avoided in movies. The pace really gives time to let the gravity of events sink in. A fast pace, while great for an action movie, would cheapen a film like this beyond repair.

Summed up: Fantastic story and performances, incredible atmosphere and a wonderful soundtrack!

Both of my grubby little thumbs go way, way up for this one!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First good film all year! April 27, 2006
I heard Roger Ebert talk about this, so I tried to see it in the theatre. Unfortunately, it was limited release. I couldn't find a theatre showing it.

Now that I have finally seen it on video, I have to say it's the best film I've seen all year. It's the first film I actually cared to watch to the end. The writing, directing, casting and acting are excellent.

David Schwimmer should have been nominated for an Oscar. Very Truthful portrayal of an alcoholic. Much better than "Leaving Las Vegas.". Hell, This film is better than most of the junk the big studios dish out every year.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best movie you have never heard of...
Great little movie; you probably never heard of it....Shakespearean and, perhaps, David Schwimmer's best movie.
Published 3 months ago by Carter Gresham
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I would buy this movie again, I am using it to show many dui clients. they have used this therapeutically.
Published 6 months ago by jeanne hairston
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie.
Great movie. I wanted to see this film because it was filmed at my place of employment and surrounding area. It was a great movie to watch.
Published 11 months ago by CarNut
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite movie of all time.
Had this movie along time ago and apparently had lost it. Really glad I bought it again. This is my favorite movie of all time, coming in close second is "Eternal Sunshine of the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Greggory D. Whitman
1.0 out of 5 stars Duane Hopwood
I see very little that was enjoyable about this movie until the very end. This drunk washed up good for nothing does despicable things the whole movie and the viewer is supposed... Read more
Published on April 13, 2012 by Imightyaphrodite
4.0 out of 5 stars Duane Hopwood by Brandon M. Moskos
This is a really good movie. David Schwimmer is excellent as an alcoholic whose life is falling apart. He gets a d.u.i. Read more
Published on January 24, 2009 by Brandon Moskos
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie - And Great Soundtrax
Just saw this movie on cable. I passed over it at my local DVD store and that was a mistake. Great performances! But this review is to praise the music in the film. Read more
Published on July 1, 2007 by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing in every way!
Duane Hopwood is one of my favourite films of all time. Being a big fan of David Schwimmer I was really looking forward to the release of the DVD and after watching it for the... Read more
Published on May 4, 2007 by J. Wilkes
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisely good drama w/ comedy quirks
This movie stays away from predictability, and tells a

sobering (excuse the pun) story about life, divorce

and alcoholism. Read more
Published on March 12, 2007 by EugeSchu
5.0 out of 5 stars A clean slate
There is a certain freedom when you lose everything you ever cared about in life. It sounds insane, I know. But it simplifies the process of life. Read more
Published on December 28, 2006 by Lerner Kefauver
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