[Screen It]


(2000) (Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni) (PG-13)

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

Romantic Comedy: Suddenly awakening in the suburban life he would have had if he had stayed with his college sweetheart, a Wall Street playboy must not only try to figure out why this happened and how to get around in his new life, but also which of his two lives is the better for him.
Jack Campbell (NICOLAS CAGE) is a Wall Street playboy who's about to close a record corporate merger, and expects everyone else at PK Lassiter and Associates, Investment House, such as Alan Mintz (SAUL RUBINEK), to work just as hard on Christmas Eve as he is. At the end of the day, his assistant tells him that Kate Campbell (TÉA LEONI) called, and that sends Jack's mind reeling.

It turns out that thirteen years earlier, Jack and Kate were college sweethearts, and a decision he made to spend a year in London rather than stay with her ended their relationship. Now, Jack wonders if he should call her, but his boss, Peter Lassiter (JOSEF SOMMER), reminds him that old flames are like tax returns that should be thrown into a file cabinet for three years before being cut loose.

As such, Jack doesn't call her and decides to walk home. Stopping in a convenience store on the way, he stumbles into what looks like a holdup, but ends up talking the gunman, Cash (DON CHEADLE), out of doing anything stupid. As they part ways, Cash questions what Jack values in life and then reminds him that he brought all of this on himself.

Not sure of what that meant, Jack goes to sleep, but when he awakens, he begins to get an idea. Instead of waking up in his lavish bachelor pad, he now finds himself in a modest suburban New Jersey home, married to Kate and father to six-year-old Annie (MAKENZIE VEGA) and toddler Josh (JAKE & RYAN MILKOVICH). Horrified at this turn of events, Jack tries to return to his former life, but learns that it no longer exists and that no one from it knows who he is.

Running into Cash once again, Jack learns that he must figure out what all of this means for himself, and tries to discern such info from Arnie Bender (JEREMY PIVEN), his best friend in this alternate universe. Still without any real clue as to what's happened, Jack tries to fit in as best as he can, with only Annie realizing he's not her real father (she thinks he's an alien impersonating him).

As such and despite the lack of sleep, money and high-powered glamour he once commanded, Jack gradually begins to feel comfortable in his new role of the family man and finds himself drawn even closer to Kate than he could have imagined, even considering the amorous attention he gets from their comely friend, Evelyn (LISA THORNHILL), who's obviously attracted to him. When a twist of fate allows him the chance to return to his old life, he must then decide which lifestyle will ultimately be better for him.

If they're fans of anyone in the cast or second chance/redemption type stories (such as "A Christmas Carol"), they just might.
For sensuality and some language.
  • NICOLAS CAGE plays a high-flying Wall Street playboy who suddenly finds himself living in an alternate and decidedly more modest suburban universe where he's married with two kids. From that point on, he tries to figure out what happened, all while inevitably beginning to enjoy his new lifestyle, which includes some fooling around with his wife.
  • TÉA LEONI his former college girlfriend and now wife in this alternate universe who loves him and puts up with his odd behavior.
  • SAUL RUBINEK plays Jack's coworker who briefly uses some profanity in Jack's alternate life.
  • JEREMY PIVEN plays Jack's best friend in this alternate universe who briefly uses strong profanity and stymies Jack's thoughts about having an affair despite nearly having one himself sometime in the past.
  • DON CHEADLE plays a mysterious and possibly supernatural figure who intervenes in Jack's life, somehow making him contemplate and experience a life that could have been. Along the way, he briefly threatens Jack and some other men with a handgun and briefly cusses.
  • MAKENZIE VEGA plays Jack's six-year-old daughter in the alternate universe who knows he's not her real father, but nonetheless helps him learn about this other life and how he's supposed to act.
  • LISA THORNHILL plays a married friend of Jack's who's always flirting with him and wants to take that flirting to a deeper, more adulterous level.


    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 romantic comedy. Profanity consists of at least 1 use of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Meanwhile, some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue also occurs. We see some fooling around between a husband and wife (in the bedroom and on the stairs), but don't see any nudity or consummated acts.

    Before that, there's implied casual sex between the protagonist and a woman who we see in her panties. We later see the protagonist in his underwear, as well as a woman's mostly obscured body through a smoked shower glass door as she dances and sings in the shower. As such, we can't see any details, but can easily see the shape of her body (including her breasts when she turns sideways). Various women also show some cleavage, including one who comes on to the protagonist in several scenes and another who shows up at his door wearing just a negligee and a smile.

    Various characters drink, including the protagonist who quickly downs liquor while trying to come to grips with finding himself in an alternate reality. He also briefly smokes a cigar. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including a married woman who wants to have an affair with the protagonist. Beyond that, some brief humor stems from the sight of infant bodily functions and in one scene, a man threatens others with a gun.

    Should you still be concerned with the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who wishes to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.

  • Jack's building manager states that he got a 25-year-old bottle of Scotch as a holiday gift.
  • Jack's boss pours himself a drink.
  • People drink at a party, including Jack who pours himself a drink, quickly downs it, and then pours himself another (as he tries to come to grips with this alternate reality he's suddenly in). We also see Kate and others with martinis.
  • Jack finds a bottle of liquor in his office drawer and then pours himself a shot that he quickly drinks.
  • As Kate comes on to him in their bedroom, Jack states that maybe they should have a bottle of wine to cut the ice, but she's not interested in that.
  • Arnie has a beer.
  • Jack pours himself a drink.
  • Jack and Kate have wine with dinner and then champagne later on.
  • Jack has a drink.
  • Jack has to figure out how to change his son's diaper and while doing so we briefly see excrement in the diaper as well as a stream of urine rising up from the boy's clearly seen penis.
  • Some may see Jack as having some of both for working everyone so hard around the holidays (although they are attempting to close one of the largest mergers in corporate history).
  • Cash holds a handgun to Jack and briefly threatens him with it after the former becomes irate in a convenience store and Jack tries to diplomatically intervene (but he seemingly does so just as part of his "Christmas Carol" ghost/angel type activity).
  • Arnie reminds Jack of the time Jack stopped him from having an affair with his son's speech therapist.
  • Jack briefly has something of a bad attitude once he finds himself trapped in this alternate reality and angrily confronts Kate about how she could let him give up on his former dream and come to live a mundane and repetitious life like he does now.
  • Evelyn, who's married, states that she wants something more than flirting to occur with Jack and that Kate needn't know. She then invites him over to her place (since her husband and kids are out of town) to have an affair, but he never goes.
  • Cash holds a handgun to Jack and briefly threatens him with it after the former becomes irate in a convenience store and Jack tries to diplomatically intervene.
  • Handgun: Briefly used by Cash to threaten some convenience store clerks and Jack.
  • Phrases: "You're going to f*ck it up," "Heartless bastard," "Stupid ass," "What the hell (are you talking about/is wrong with him)?" "Screw up," "They suck," "Take a dump," "Nut" (testicle) and "Can we cut the sh*t?"
  • Cash drives in an aggressive manner, taking a turn too fast despite traffic in front of/beside him.
  • None.
  • A minor bit of suspenseful music plays in one scene.
  • None.
  • At least 1 "f" word, 3 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 5 hells, 4 damns, 1 ass, 1 crap, 6 uses each of "For God's sakes" and "God," 3 each of "Jesus," "Oh God" and "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For Christ's sakes," "My God," "Good Lord" and "Godforsaken" as exclamations.
  • Jack and Kate briefly kiss at an airport.
  • We see a woman getting out of Jack's bed who tells him that he was incredible. He tells her that she's an "amazing lover" and she replies that he wasn't bad himself. During this, we see her putting on her dress as she faces away from us (thus we see her in just her panties - along with her bare back). As she leaves, she says that it was nice meeting him, thus implying a one-night stand between them.
  • Later, we see Jack in just his underwear as he gets ready for work.
  • Jack flirts with an older neighbor on their elevator, playfully asking her when she's going to leave her husband for him. She then flirts back and replies, "You know you could never satisfy me the way he does."
  • We see Jack in his underwear again.
  • Trying to convince the above woman from the elevator about who he is, Jack tells her that every morning they exchange some sexual banter in the elevator.
  • We see the nude plastic torso of a shapely doll above Arnie's bar (that shows bare breasts and full frontal nudity - but nothing explicit).
  • The hostess of a party shows cleavage in her sexy dress and comes on to Jack.
  • Kate mentions a T-shirt about non-profit lawyers that said, "Non-profit lawyers do it for free."
  • Jack finds Kate dancing and singing in the shower. As such, we see her mostly obscured body through the smoked shower glass door, but can easily see the shape of her body (including her breasts when she turns sideways). She then opens the shower door and he averts his eyes after seeing her nudity (we don't see anything but her head and shoulders).
  • Jack finds a placard that reads, "Bowlers do it in an alley."
  • Kate comes into their bedroom and enthusiastically tells Jack that their kids are asleep. She starts to undress as she puts on some music and pulls off his socks. She then suggestively takes off her shirt (we see her in her tank top) and he asks if she wants him and she replies that's the general idea. She then climbs on top of him and unzips his pants and he then rolls over on top of her and kiss as he lies between her legs (they're still clothed). When he realizes how attractive she is (since he really hasn't seen her in 13 years), she tells him that such talk is "good stuff." She then stops so that she can change into a sexy outfit and we then see her in their bathroom adjusting her clothed breasts (we see lots of cleavage). She then comes back out, but finds him sleeping (so nothing else happens).
  • Evelyn comes on to Jack in a bowling alley and he asks if she's a nurse (not knowing anything about her) and she playfully replies, "If that's what you want." He then asks if there's something going on between them and she confesses that she's had a thing for him and then tells him that her husband and kids are out of town and for him to come over (he never does).
  • When Jack talks to Arnie about the above, Arnie tells him that the fidelity bank of trust is a tough creditor and that if you make a deposit somewhere else, they'll close your account.
  • Jack and Kate make out on their steps (that also involves some smearing of chocolate cake on their faces) and she tells him to tell her what she wants to hear. He mistakes that for talking dirty and so tells her, "You make me so hot." That ruins the mood for her and nothing else happens.
  • Jack watches a videotape shot by Arnie that briefly zooms in and focuses on Evelyn's clothed breasts at a party.
  • After Jack impresses Kate with a fancy, in the city date, she tells him that he might "get lucky" with her that night.
  • The next day Kate wraps her leg around Jack on their porch as he leaves for work and then grabs his clothed butt.
  • With Jack back in his former life, he answers the door to his place to find a woman he knows. She then opens her coat to reveal her wearing just a negligee and acting seductive (saying "Merry Christmas" as if she's the gift). Nothing happens between them, however.
  • A man at a party offers Jack a cigar and after initially turning down the offer, Jack accepts it and then briefly smokes the cigar.
  • Jack's reaction to his sudden alternate existence creates a bit of domestic strife between him and his wife on several occasions.
  • The choices one makes in life and how they affect one's future.
  • Jack's changing opinion of the less glamorous, more blue collar existence he's thrown into and comes to love.
  • Cash holds a handgun to Jack and briefly threatens him with it.

  • Reviewed November 28, 2000 / Posted December 22, 2000

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