I know I haven't seen many films this year, but out of all the ones I have seen this is by far the best. I wasn't really expecting much from it because Adam Sandler was going to get all serious again. That last time I saw him do a serious drama was with Spanglish and that turned out to be a slight let down. Punch-Drunk Love was good, but didn't showcase his talents enough. This film, on the other hand, was absolutely wonderful. Adam Sandler has never impressed me this much before and I was absolutely shocked to see him in such a strong role.
This movie is Adam Sandler's best movie. There is no arguing with that. Mike Binder (who plays Charlie's lawyer in the film) helms this film and does a safe job with it. I wouldn't say he did a great directorial job, but at least it was evident. The story is basic, yet heartbreaking. A true tearjerker if I ever saw one.
Alan Johnson (Cheadle) gets a surprise when he runs into his old roommate, Charlie Fineman (Sandler). He is shocked to find out that Charlie doesn't remember him at all. Alan later learns that Charlie is suffering with grief from the loss of his wife and kids to a plane crash in 9/11. He attempts to help Charlie get over his grief by rekindling their friendship. Charlie hangs out with Alan because he doesn't know anything about what his family was like and he refuses to talk about it. As Alan spends a lot of time with Charlie it puts a strain on his relationship with his wife (Pinkett-Smith) and kids.
Don Cheadle is great, yes, but that's no news since he is always great. The surprise here is how sensational Adam Sandler's performance was. I can't get over it... really! His grief and emotional distress is there in every single move he makes and it makes you sympathetic for his character. Never before has Adam Sandler achieved such... such... perfectness! Perfectness in comedies, maybe, but never has he crossed the border into drama. Now that he appeared in this movie, I can finally take him seriously as a good actor.
I recommend this film to all... it's very uplifting. If you like Adam Sandler you'll love this movie. If you don't like Adam Sandler, give it a chance anyways and I assure you, you'll probably change your mind.