(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.
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