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The Family Man
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Jack Campbell (Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage) is a single, wealthy Wall Street trader living the high life in New York City. All that magically changes one winter morning when he wakes up in suburban New Jersey next to Kate (Tea Leoni), the girlfriend he left 13 years ago. He's now got two kids, he's traded in his Ferrari for a minivan all while trying not to lose his mind. Find out what it takes for a single-minded businessman to become The Family Man in this heartwarming holiday comedy about second thoughts and second chances.
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Future me: watch again if free and after the year 2020.
The intelligent dialog is scripted in a dramatically direct but believable way, asking the question, "What if...?" Jack Campbell (Nicholas Cage), a powerful CEO, is a man who says, "I have everything I need" In fact he has more and is content with his life, but oblivious to what he might really own: those things which money can't buy. Inadvertantly, he crosses paths with an angel whose mission it is to test peoples character in their dealing with one another. Touched by a courageous act of Jack's, the angel decides to open Jack's eye's to the wealth he could never earn on Wall Street.
Jack Campbell is given a "glimpse" of what his life would have been had he married his college sweetheart and had a family. His is forced to live a middle class life. He ignorantly makes the life of his might-have-been family a bit chaotic as he pieces together the events which causes his middle class lifestyle instead of becoming a powerful CEO. He must continue to live this life until he, the man who has "everything" he needs, learns what it is that he is missing.
What really makes this story special is the reversed mid-life crisis roll of Jack Campbell. Since Jack has everthing he ever wanted it removes the typical mid-life crisis scenario of wanting more which in turn allows the story to more sincerely explore the depths of our human needs.
Although, Nicholas Cage's portrail of a powerful executive is slightly off, he is fabulous as the stund middle class father of a family he never had. Especially touching is the how his character learns to overcome his blinding ambition to become the "envy" of his peers for the sake of his personal pride. Nonetheless, this movie could not have been as enchanting without Tea Leoni's strong, intelligently and lovingly scripted role. Her character is the woman of our dreams... (And, then there's Tea herself!) If you are a man in your 30's who has never been married for fear of losing yourself and everything you own, you will be inspired to fearlessly entertain the hopes and joys that might be yours.
What might we have become if...? Unique is this movies positive outlook to this question. This story submits an alternate answer to those who pridefully insist they will be happy as soon as they accomplish 'something'. It suggests that joy is sharing with one's family life-as-it-is along with their hopes and dreams of what they are still becoming.
I left this movie asking myself, "What have I become", "where am I going" and "what's really important?"
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