Reign Over Me

My latest little-known fact: "OC" doesn't just stand for Orange County, it also can mean Open Captioned. What a treat and what a huge relief! Now that the Baby Boomers are aging and 65% of the Y Generation has over 40% hearing loss due to their loud music, theatres are getting wise. No more gizmos with flexible arms, reflective plastic and rearview projection, this is open captions like we have come to love on our television sets at home! Watch for it along with the titles and the times in your local movie listings. Whew!

Which brings me to "Reign Over Me." Adam Sandler ("50 First Dates" and "The Wedding Singer") has been known for two major things:
  1. He is a primarily a comedian.
  2. He never enunciates.

In this movie, he is a surprisingly touching tragic figure, a dentist who lost his wife and three daughters in one of the 9/11 flights. As a result, he has sunk into a deep post traumatic shock. He rides a silent electric scooter around New York City and collects old vinyl records reminiscent of his carefree college days, remodels his kitchen endlessly and avoids engaging in life. He still mumbles, but to my relief, Closed Captioning made it possible for me to catch every single word. In addition, he bears a remarkable resemblance to a rumpled Bob Dylan.

Don Cheadle ("Hotel Rwanda" and the "Ocean's" franchise) was Sandler's roommate in college and practices his dentistry in New York City. He recognizes his old college roommate but there is no response or acknowledgement from Sandler. Cheadle is married to Jada Pinkett Smith ("Collateral" and "Set It Off") who quickly becomes alarmed at her husband's new focus on his old college buddy with his obvious mental problems. She too, speaks very softly but I didn't miss a word because of the captions! Yippee!

By the time Donald Sutherland makes his entrance as a judge, I had forgotten he was even listed as a player! His tidy and articulate appearance was a delight, because it totally obliterated my painful memory of his rheumy-eyed Mr. Bennett in the most recent remake of "Pride and Prejudice." Saffron Burroughs ("Circle of Friends" and "Troy") has a small but pivotal role, while Liv Tyler ("Lord of the Rings" and "Stealing Beauty") is a psychiatrist who tries in vain to break through Sandler's mental wall.

This movie was better than I expected and I will warn you that there was a moment late in the movie where I became afraid I was going to witness a tragic "suicide by cop," but thank goodness, that is NOT what happened! I can recommend the movie and once again, must again comment on Don Cheadle's range. He never falters...