“Reign Over Me,” review by Joanna Langfield

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This one is like a punch in the stomach: but in a good way.

Mike Binder has come a long way since his often whiny HBO series, The Mind of a Married Man, tackled some of the same issues that arise in this thoughtful, funny drama. Adam Sandler (we’ll get to him later) and Don Cheadle star, nicely playing off one another as two former dental school roommates, reuniting under the toughest of circumstances. We are almost off-handedly told Sandler’s young wife and daughters were killed in one of the hijacked planes on September 11th.

Devastated, he has essentially dropped out of society, taking refuge in a pitiful, lonely madness. When the two men accidentally reconnect, Cheadle is having his own, albeit more subtle problems, the usual stuff of a usual life, but stuff all the same. It is what these two men do for each other that allows Binder to address the everyday and the horribly extraordinary, which he does with perception and even a graceful humor. If he had edited out a few unnecessary scenes and maybe developed a few different ones, what is a fine script would have been stronger and harder to shake.

Don Cheadle is terrific, as he is always. Even the women in this movie, dealing with underwritten roles, shine. But, clearly, the story here is Sandler, who is absolutely extraordinary. Softening the understandable insanity with an innate charm, Adam delivers a performance that rings achingly true and does, indeed, break our hearts

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Joanna Langfield (Archived Contributor)

Her voice is heard throughout the 50 states and around the world by more than one million listeners on her syndicated radio programs: Joanna Langfield’s People Report and Video and Movie Minute. She’s also seen and heard as a regular contributing commentator on CNN International, CNN, Fox News and CNBC. In print, her articles have been published in such high profile magazines as Video Review and McCall’s. Joanna Langfield is known for taking interviews to another level with probing looks at celebrities’ insights rather than just their latest projects. As a result, she’s secured a niche among the nation’s premier interviewers and movie critics. Joanna began her career on the production staff of a local Boston television station. She then focused her energies towards radio and produced talk shows at WMEX-AM in Boston. After moving to New York, she became executive producer at WMCA-AM for talk show personalities Barry Gray and Sally Jessy Raphael. She began hosting a one-minute movie review spot which, in turn, led to her top-rated weekend call in-show, The Joanna Langfield Show (1980-83). Joanna moved to WABC-AM to host The Joanna Langfield Show on Saturday nights from 9:00pm to midnight. It was the highest rated show in its time slot. From 1987-1989, Joanna hosted Today’s People on the ABC Radio network, which was fed daily to over 300 stations around the country. She also appeared on WABC-TV as a regular on-air contributor. In 1989, Joanna formed her radio production company, Joanna Langfield Entertainment Reports, to syndicate her radio reports. She is considered to be one of the top authoritative commentators on the entertainment industry. Read Lagfield's recent articles below. For her Women On Film archive, type "Joanna Langfield" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).