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  • by David C. Terr

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    family man movie posterTitle: The Family Man

    Director: Brett Rather

    Starring: Nicolas Cage, Tea Leoni, Don Cheadle

    Release Date: Dec. 12, 2000

    Running Time: 126 min

    Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Drama, Romance


    The Family Man is an entertaining Christmas film starring Nicolas Cage as Jack Campbell, a highly successful but unhappy businessman who's given a glimpse from a guardian angel of a simpler life with a family. The story is similar to "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens as well as the classic Frank Capra film It's a Wonderful Life.

    Plot Summary
    Jack Campbell (Cage) is a highly successful single Wall Street broker. One day he stumbles into a grocery store holdup and disarms the gunman, who happens to be an angel in disguise. He tells the angel he has everything he wants, and the angel laughs at him. The next morning he wakes up in a suburban house in New Jersey with a wife and two kids, his wife being his ex-girlfriend from 13 years earlier. He finds he must adjust to his new life as a middle-class family man. At first he's very upset, but gradually he comes to embrace his new life. It turns out to be temporary though, as the following week he's taken back to his old life. But now he tries to fix things so that he can become the happily married family man he'd been given a glimpse of.

    Social Relevance
    As mentioned above, this movie is very much in the spirit of It's a Wonderful Life. Like George Bailey, Jack learns to appreciate the value of a simple family life as opposed to a life of riches. However, he learns this lesson by approaching family life from the opposite direction. Jack had chosen to opt out of a married life with children and is later shown that this was a mistake. On the other hand, George already has a loving family but doesn't come to appreciate it until it's taken away from him. In either case, the message is the same.

    Movie Clips

    Here's the original movie trailer.



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