With little style and no substance, this low-wattage forgettable thriller plays like a rejected episode of “The Twilight Zone.” Linda (Sandra Bullock) wakes up every day in a different reality (and a different sleeping outfit — she has quite the collection of nighties and pajamas). One day, she opens the door to a cop who tells her that her husband has been killed in a car accident. The next day, he’s in the kitchen having breakfast and watching television. Another day, it’s his funeral, and she can’t remember how her daughter got cuts all over her face and some scary people are coming to take her to a hospital. Another day, she goes to see him in his office and wonders if there might be something going on with that pretty new assistant manager (Amber Valetta). She begins to figure out that she’s living the days out of order. Can she change the future she has already experienced?
Bullock is appealing and committed as always, Valetta shows again that she has a sympathetic screen presence and can make the most of a few moments, and Nia Long as Linda’s best friend makes us wish the movie was about her. But the two things you are entitled to expect from a movie like this one are some “aha” moments as all the pieces of the plot come together and some “ahh” moments as the main characters learn something meaningful. What we get instead are a couple of “gotcha” fake-outs that are more exploitive than spooky (and no surprise to anyone who has the vaguest idea of the movie’s premise) and a “that’s it?” moment at the end that makes Linda’s character seem creepy rather than sympathetic.
Haven’t we lived through this before? And was it just as bad the last time? One reality she unfortunately can’t change is the ineluctable trudge toward the appallingly boneheaded ending.
Parents should know that this movie has some intense peril and disturbing images. A character is killed and a child is hurt. There is a bloody dead bird (later we see what happened to it). Characters use brief strong language, smoke, drink wine, and pharmaceutical medication is prescribed and forcibly injected. There is a non-explicit sexual situation and there are references to adultery. Issues of destiny and premonition may be upsetting to some audience members. A strength of the movie is the portrayal of a close friendship between diverse characters.
Families who see this movie should talk about times they have felt they knew something that was going to happen. What did Linda decide was worth fighting for?
Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy the much better Frequency and Deja Vu (intense and graphic violence and terrorism). The Family Man and Me, Myself & I are non-thriller explorations of roads not taken in family relationships.