28 Days (2000) Betty Thomas

Production Budget: $43 million
Worldwide Gross: $63 million

No, not 28 Days Later.  Although some people infected the rage virus might have spiced it up just a bit.  28 Days stars Sandra Bullock as a newspaper columnist who after a DUI car accident, is given a choice between rehab and jail.  She spends time in jail and continues drinking herself into a coma.  The end.  Just joking, she goes into rehab and begins to realize she has a drinking problem and wants to change her life around.

Again, this is another movie I want to really rip on, but then again I was just so grateful I wasn’t watching Hope Floats.  Hope Floats: a movie so bad it makes Life or Something Like it look like Ikiru.  To be fair 28 Days, does a few good things.  Bullock actually does well in a dramatic turn, and we also get good supporting roles from Steve Buscemi and Viggo Mortensen.  The writing of Bullock’s character is good enough we see a believable past and an equally believable change of character.  The view of rehab is also well done.

The problems creep in with the rest of the movie.  The tone is so bipolar when it has lighthearted moments and then really grim stuff.  Also, 28 Days get into predictable writing and almost Lifetime network feel good drivel.  The other side characters in the rehab center degenerate into one dimensional stereotypes.

I caught this movie late one very boring and lonely night and while it isn’t that good, it is watchable.   But honestly I will be sticking with better hopeless drunk movies like The Lost Weekend, Rachel Getting Married, or sit down and read some Bukowski.  Yup, there’s nothing like the poems of a drunk depressed mailman to get you in a good mood.

Oh postscript.  Director Betty White went on to bigger and better things with I Spy, John Tucker Must Die, and the upcoming Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel.  And Sandra Bullock, well, the less said about Premonition the better.

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