Mental Wellness in Movies: Reign Over Me

Sony Pictures, Relativity Media, et al. - Reign Over Me - movie poster - from

Of his films that I’ve watched, I never thought of Adam Sandler as a serious or skilled actor, yet here he is as Charlie Fineman, a man who still grieves years onward from the loss of his family in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Despite some missteps in other areas, the movie treats its setting and context with respect, and there are no jokes made at the expense of this disastrous day’s victims or even of the terrorists, who are simply referred to as monsters–“humans” would be better, but the word choices could have been and sometimes are much worse. Don Cheadle plays Sandler’s former college roommate Alan Johnson, a dentist who spends much of the film helping Charlie emotionally recover. (Adam is “Charlie,” and Cheadle is “Alan.” Don’t get confused.) Their friendship forms much of the core of this film, and on the whole, that story is something of a pleasant surprise.

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