[Screen It]


"28 DAYS"
(2000) (Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortensen) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Heavy Mild Heavy Minor Minor
Moderate None Minor Minor Heavy
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Heavy Moderate Heavy Mild

Drama: An alcoholic tries to cope with her condition and her new acquaintances when she's sent to a rehab center for twenty-eight days.
Gwen Cummings (SANDRA BULLOCK) and her boyfriend Jasper (DOMINIC WEST) are the hard partying types who obviously have addiction problems. Showing up drunk to be a bridesmaid at her sister Lily's (ELIZABETH PERKINS) wedding, Gwen caps off her embarrassing appearance by destroying the wedding cake and then driving a limo into someone's porch.

Rather than be sent to prison, Gwen is enrolled at Serenity Glen, a rehab center where the patients must go through a twenty-eight day program of accepting that they have a problem, participating in group meetings to discuss those problems and living substance free for nearly a month. Of course, Gwen doesn't think she belongs there or that she has a problem, and doesn't like the way that head nurse Betty (MARGO MARTINDALE) or her counselor and former addict himself, Cornell (STEVE BUSCEMI), treat her.

Nor is she particularly thrilled with her new set of "friends" that includes her roommate, Andrea (AZURA SKYE), a teenage junkie who's been through rehab before, as well as Bobbie Jean (DIANE LADD), a Southern housewife; Roshanda (MARIANNE JEAN-BAPTISTE) whose addiction has troubled her kids; Daniel (RENI SANTONI), a former doctor whose addiction cost him his practice; Oliver (MICHAEL O'MALLEY), who's always hitting on Gwen; and Gerhardt (ALAN TUDYK), an insecure and gay German stripper.

When Jasper shows up for a little R&R from rehab, Gwen returns to the center drunk and/or high, thus breaking their rules. As a result, Cornell orders that she be removed from rehab and sent to prison to serve out her time. Facing that consequence, Gwen realizes she has to clean up her act and decides to participate in the center's activities.

As she tries to do so, she must deal with her cravings, Jasper's repeated attempts to relive their former lives, her relationship with her sister, and her partial attraction to fellow rehabber Eddie Boone (VIGGO MORTENSEN), a professional baseball pitcher who arrives at the center not only with his own problems, but words of wisdom for her as well.

If they're fans of Bullock or someone else in the cast they might, but this somber sounding production probably won't be high on most kids' must see lists.
For mature thematic elements involving substance abuse, language and some sensuality.
  • SANDRA BULLOCK plays an alcoholic and drug addict who finds herself in rehab after ruining her sister's wedding and causing some property damage during a stint of drunken driving. She also smokes and briefly uses some strong profanity.
  • DOMINIC WEST plays her equally hard partying boyfriend who doesn't accept that he or Gwen has a problem and wishes to return her to the party scene. He uses some profanity and smokes.
  • VIGGO MORTENSEN plays another rehab patient, a professional baseball pitcher, who befriends Gwen.
  • ELIZABETH PERKINS plays Gwen's sister who finds it hard to love her due to her behavior.
  • STEVE BUSCEMI plays Gwen's counselor and former addict himself.
  • AZURA SKYE plays a teenage junkie who's been through rehab before and seems to have a thing for self-mutilation (she purposefully cuts herself).
  • ALAN TUDYK plays an insecure and gay German stripper who's another patient.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a quick look at the content found in this PG-13 rated drama. Most of the characters in the film are alcoholics or drug addicts, including the one played by Sandra Bullock who's occasionally seen drunk and/or high. Of course, most of the characters learn - at least to some extent - how to deal with their problems and are clean for their duration at the rehab center, although one character does die from a drug overdose. Several characters, including the protagonist, also smoke.

    Profanity consists of at least 1 use of "f' word, while other profanities and colorful phrases are also uttered. Varying degrees of bad attitudes are present. Some sexual activity (and brief nudity) is partially seen and/or suggested, while some sexually related but non-explicit dialogue also occurs.

    A person is punched and another performs some off-screen self-mutilation (both resulting in a little bit of blood), while some property damage results from a bout of drunken driving. Beyond that, some behavior is present that may be imitated, some tense family scenes occur, and various topics to discuss with kids are present. Should this summary not completely address your questions about the film's appropriateness for you or anyone in your family, we suggest that you take a closer look at our more detailed content listings.

  • During the opening credits, we see various shots of Gwen and Jasper heavily drinking with others at a party.
  • Gwen drinks a beer in the morning and we then see her and Jasper running along a city street carrying bottles of beer. We then see them drinking in the back of a cab and we hear the comment, "Thank God for bar cars" as we see a train passing by (suggesting that they're drinking on the train, although that isn't seen).
  • Lily drinks some champagne while waiting for Gwen to show up at her wedding. Gwen then downs some pills with champagne.
  • Gwen and Jasper are drunk at Lily's wedding reception and make quite a scene because of that, ending with Gwen driving a limo while drunk, swerving and nearly hitting other cars and eventually driving through several yards until running into someone's porch.
  • All of the "guests" at the rehab center are addicts of one sort of another, but we don't see any use on their part, except for one woman who's shot up heroin (or something similar). They do occasionally talk about such substances, however, such as when they try to guess what the latest patient is addicted to.
  • Not knowing that Cornell is her counselor, Gwen asks him if there's any way to get something at the rehab center with a little more kick than cigarettes.
  • Jasper smuggles in some drugs for Gwen when he visits her, and when she returns to the center later that night she's high and/or drunk.
  • Gwen has some flashbacks to her drinking and partying with others as well as her mother being drunk or passed out when she and Lily were just young girls.
  • Jasper brings some champagne on a rowboat for him and Gwen, but she throws it overboard.
  • A patient dies from a drug overdose of heroin or something similar they injected.
  • People have drinks in a bar.
  • We hear Gwen vomiting into a toilet.
  • During a lecture, a jar containing pieces of a liver is passed around while a photographic slide shows a diseased photo of the same.
  • We see a bloody slice on Andrea's leg from where she purposefully cut herself.
  • Jasper has a little bit of blood running from his nose after being punched.
  • Gwen and Jasper show up late for Lily's wedding (Gwen is in the wedding party) and make quite a scene at the reception where both are drunk. Not only does Gwen give a drunken speech that embarrasses Lily and reveals some secrets (seen later in the film during a flashback), but she also destroys the wedding cake and then borrows and drunkenly drives the limo through several people's yards before crashing it into someone's porch.
  • Gwen is initially condescending toward the other patients and staff at the rehab center.
  • Daniel is bitter toward others and calls Gerhardt a "faggot."
  • Jasper doesn't accept that he or Gwen has a problem and tries to get her back into their old ways (including bringing her pills and champagne on different occasions).
  • Jasper is demeaning toward Eddie.
  • Eddie admits that he had an affair with his best friend's wife.
  • Some viewers may find a scene where Gwen drunkenly drives a limo down a road, nearly hits several cars and ends up crashing into a porch as a little tense.
  • Gwen finds another patient who's overdosed on heroin (or something similar) and calls out for help.
  • A mural painted on a wall shows a masked terrorist brandishing a handgun.
  • Phrases: "Back the f*ck off," "That's a crock of sh*t," "Sh*tload," "Screw" and "Laid" (sexual), "Screwed" (nonsexual), "Faggot," "Shut up," "Freakin'," "Bitch," "Geek," "Jeez," "Pissed," "My ass," "Gals" (women), "Screw up," "Freaks," "Sucker," "Suck," "Dumb ass," "Kiss ass," "Idiot," "Jerk," "Slut" and "Pain in the ass."
  • Since Gwen and Jasper make being drunk and/or high look like fun (at least at first), that could inspire kids to do the same (although the rest of the movie is about showing that it's bad).
  • Gwen drunkenly drives a limo.
  • Gwen tries to climb down the side of her building and then down a tree to get some pills (but ends up falling and injuring her leg).
  • During a flashback, we see that Gwen and Lily's mother, while drunk, took an indoor table, turned it upside down, and used it as a sled outdoors for the three of them to ride down a snowy hill.
  • We see that Andrea is into self-mutilation and has purposefully cut her leg. When Gwen asks if it hurts, Andrea says that it doesn't.
  • Daniel slyly gives "the finger" to others when he leaves.
  • None.
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in one scene.
  • The song "Joy to the World" (the Jeremiah was a bull frog song) has the lyrics, "But I helped him drink his wine/And he always had some mighty fine wine" as well as "I'důmake sweet love to you."
  • A balladeer of sorts at the rehab center sings various songs that have drug and/or alcohol references in the lyrics.
  • At least 1 "f" word, 7 "s" words, 2 slang terms for sex ("screw" and "laid"), 1 slang term for breasts ("t*t"), 7 asses (1 used with "hole"), 4 damns, 4 hells, 1 crap, 13 uses of "Oh God," 7 of "Oh my God," 4 of "God," and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Jesus," "Oh Jesus," "Oh my Lord" and "Oh dear God" as exclamations.
  • During the opening credits, we see shots of Gwen and Caper rolling around and kissing on a bed (clothed), and with the shot out of focus we see him taking off his shirt. We then see them the next morning in bed (where both are apparently nude but we only see her bare back).
  • We see the hazy shape of Gwen's nude body as seen through a smoked glass door.
  • We see Gwen in just her slip (after she gets out a limo she was drunkenly driving) that shows a bit of cleavage.
  • A staff member announces the rules that include no romance (meaning "no sex between patients").
  • We (and Gwen) briefly see a man and woman fooling around in an elevator (and see part of the woman's bare butt as the man briefly has her clothing pulled up around her hips). Later, we see a couple making out in the elevator, but nothing else.
  • We hear some vague sexual sounds as we briefly see a shot of Gwen and Jasper rolling around, partially clothed, on a bed (but don't see any nudity or explicit movement).
  • When Gwen tries thanking Eddie for helping her the night before, he thinks they did something sexual (since he can't remember anything that happened) and comments on waking up naked in the past with women whose names he didn't know.
  • There's talk about characters in a TV soap opera, including one who was impregnated by her brother.
  • Another patient comments that they thought Gwen was a lesbian and Gerhardt, who's gay, says that there's nothing wrong if she were one.
  • While in a rope harness that goes around his clothed crotch, Gerhardt states, "Oh my God, look at my bulge" (and we see it - all played for laughs) while pointing to his crotch.
  • Gwen and Eddie briefly wrestle, fully clothed, horizontally on a couch over a TV remote and briefly end up kissing with him caressing her body.
  • Talking about life on the outside, Gerhardt briefly talks about physical needs (meaning sex) and wonders when they can do that.
  • Eddie admits that he had an affair with his best friend's wife and says that the friend found them in bed together.
  • In a scene from a TV soap opera, a male character states, "It's so hard," to which a female character responds, "That's the way it's supposed to be" (but we don't see anything).
  • Guessing what a new female patient is addicted to, Gwen thinks it's cocaine and sex.
  • When asked what he would wish for, Gerhardt states, "My foreskin back" and then goes on to state that nobody asked him before they took it.
  • The head nurse jokes to Gwen and Daniel that they should "get a room" and then adds "Get a condom," with Gwen replying what sounded like they'd use or need two (condoms) - although nothing sexual was going on between them.
  • A comment is made that one doesn't "screw" other men's wives/girlfriends.
  • Gwen opens a door and sees Eddie getting dressed and a woman holding something up to cover her nudity (implying that they had sex or were fooling around).
  • Gerhardt laments, "I'm never going to get laid," while wearing a T-shirt with a promotional picture of him standing nude wearing just a box covering his groin area.
  • Gwen smokes more than five times, while Jasper smokes several times and Cornell, Andrea and various background characters smoke once.
  • In flashback we see that Gwen and Lily's mother was also an alcoholic and that she died when they were still young girls (there's also talk that their father left, but we never see him).
  • Gwen and Lily have a strained sisterly relationship due to Gwen's alcoholism and related behavior, although they work out some of that by the end of the story.
  • During some group family therapy, Roshanda's young child talks about what it's like when Roshanda does drugs.
  • Andrea cuts herself when her parents didn't show up at the family therapy session.
  • Substance abuse, addictions and those suffering from either.
  • Whether Gwen should have gone to prison instead of or in combination with rehab.
  • Jasper's theory that life equals loss and that one should try to minimize that pain through drinking and drugs.
  • We see that Andrea is into self-mutilation and has purposefully cut her leg.
  • Drunkenly driving a limo, Gwen drives over some decorative fences, a small statue and eventually crashes the limo into someone's porch.
  • Gwen falls from a tree and injures her leg upon impact with the ground.
  • In a flashback, Gwen or her sister smacks their mother to make her wake up from being passed out.
  • We see a bloody slice on Andrea's leg from where she purposefully cut herself.
  • A patient dies from a drug overdose.
  • Gwen somewhat playfully slaps another patient as they perform a skit.
  • Eddie punches Jasper after the latter is demeaning toward him.

  • Reviewed April 11, 2000 / Posted April 14, 2000

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