Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving substance abuse, language and some sensuality.
I’ll buy running shoes. We’ll take up yoga or jogging. You know, we’ll be organized. Pay our bills, floss our teeth. We won’t set fire to the apartment anymore. I’ll buy a goldfish, and we’ll be like normal people. -Jasper
A fabulous writer named Gwen Cummings is living it up in New York City as a party girl. Her life seems to be nothing but fun until she gets obliterated at her sisters wedding and crashes her sisters limo. A court ordered visit to rehab puts an end to the life of debauchery and madness she is accustomed to. Gwen’s stubbornness does not mesh well with the other residents as she sees herself as better than them. She is also having issues with coming to terms about her abuse. After time Gwen is finally able to let her guard down and begins to open up.
After a viewing of 28 Days one thing became abundantly clear. The writer (Susannah Grant) or the director (Betty Thomas), or the two combined have a preconceived notion about what addiction and alcoholism is about. Their notion is unfortunately about one million miles away from reality. No matter how hard you try, a subject like this is not funny, especially when you take into account the other peoples lives it’s affected, and Sandra Bullocks character had a huge affect on her sisters life in this film. Nonetheless, the topic and the film is tackled in a light and trite way.
The character’s have been characterized into something far from a real addict or alcoholic. Through the whole film Bullocks character is yelling at everyone and is acting angry at the world. Most alcoholic’s that are as extreme as they portrayed her to be, tend to be very remorseful. It was barely even touched on what Gwen’s motivators were, only a few flashbacks to her mother, but nothing more than vague innuendo. It was pretty much explained as she liked to drink because she thought it was such a party. I’m sorry but after fifteen years of abusing alcohol that just doesn’t fly.
It is rather insulting the way this topic was approached. When a Man Loves a Woman with Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan is fair and honest about the issues alcoholism creates. In comparison 28 Days is an atrocity, giving the impression that if you want to enough, you can just get over your issues and move on with life. That rehab is full of fun and interesting people, and even romance. Even with the superficial approach to the supporting characters the movie contradicts itself with the suicide of Andrea. Her character and her actions come across as a cheap attempt at a tear jerking moment in a film where that level of seriousness was never explored.
The script was dry and far fetched. The things these people were saying to one another is not how normal people have conversations. At times it almost felt like the character’s were mocking people with real issues it was so over the top. Because the question of whether or not the film was intentionally funny made these moments even more off-settomg/ As the film bounces back and forth between the feel of drama and then comedy, it’s disorienting and annoying.
- Sandra Bullock as Gwen
- Viggo Mortensen as Eddie Boone
- Dominic West as Jasper
- Elizabeth Perkins as Lily
- Azura Skye as Andrea
- Steve Buscemi as Cornell
A change of pace from Bullocks usual romantic comedy set her in a position to really turn out a strong dramatic performance, but unfortunately like the film itself Bullock seemed awkward and uncomfortable. Gwen was not only despicable, but there was absolutely no level to connect with her on. She was a static character in a film full of strange performances. The most redeeming aspect of the entire film was Jasper. Though he was completely over the top and the most unrealistic character of them all, he at least brought a sense of charisma to the screen and made things interesting for a moment or two.
Ratings and Reviews
This movie goes past being a waste of time and becomes an irritating sense of regret. As badly put together as the film was, it’s constant battle against itself is exhausting and frustrating by the time the film has met it’s overly sentimental and shallow finale. In truth this film may actually come off as offensive to real addicts or people that have suffered alcohol abuse directly or indirectly. It’s short sighted in it’s ideals and it ruins any chance the film had of being successful. 28 Days is terrible. It earns a half star our of Four.