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" alcohol and drugs = bad .
not alcohol and drugs = good .
got it ? "
just when you though you've seen enough of brave young women dealing with their personal problems on screen , be that insanity or alcoholism , hollywood releases yet another one of those 'deep , emotional stories about finding yourself' . .
'28 days' is practically a visualization of the usual 'meaningful' true stories that people are so proudly retelling at aa-meetings .
gwennie ( sandra bullock ) is a young woman who drowned her problems in alcohol .
for her life was a big party , with no beginning and no end .
this behavior has of course estranged her from her only sister and from life itself .
her existence is filled with endless parties and comic episodes .
such as when she got drunk with boyfriend jasper ( dominic west ) , borrowed her sister's ( elizabeth perkins ) wedding limo and crashed it into someone's house .
this time she had to pay with a 28 day stay in court-ordered rehab .
here she must realize that the only thing that can save her is her is redemption , willpower and commitment .
most important she must realize her place and direction in life and understand that her life is not just a big party .
the film itself feels like a rehab program , whining and moaning about things that have been said and written a million times .
it is a classic cautionary tale .
an echo .
a big , fat and expensive clich ? .
a shadow of last year's 'girl , interrupted' , which likewise followed in the footsteps of great masterpieces like 'the cuckoo's nest' and 'trainspotting' .
director betty thomas has stuffed her film with so many failures and errors , that it is impossible to sum them all up in one review .
for some paranoid reason she decided to make her film a drama/comedy .
jokes and funny characters almost deliberately delude you from the really important and complex issues : alienation , despair , terror , confusion , loneliness .
and what awesome power and strength of character it actually takes to overcome all that and become clean .
isn't that what the filmmakers wanted to show in the first place ?
even the transition process itself seems like a walk in the park . betty thomas' idea of hell is a cozy , homey place where happy alcoholics and cheerful drug addicts are not allowed to smoke , drink or watch tv after 11 .
it is simply too light , simplified and unnecessary sweet to be taken seriously .
but the worst thing about it is that it actually thinks that it is saying something of significance .
that it actually tries to educate the audience with its extremely predictable and primitive story .
" all you need to do is just say no " , says dr . cornell ( steve buscemi ) as if was the revelation of the century .
and that's how simple it is !
in fact i would rather watch 'lost in space' once again , than return to '28 days' .
as for acting , it's acceptable , but hardly anything else .
for sandra bullock it's an opportunity to demonstrate that she is capable of more than 'speed' .
she handles her part with a surprising professionalism and ease that certainly saves the film from being a complete flop .
dominic west shines as the source of gwenie's devilish temptations , but elizabeth perkins' and steve buscemi's great talents are wasted on unnoticeable and shallow characters .
although intellectually 'girl , interrupted' was a greater achievement , '28 days' is superior in its visual aspect .
there are some nice flash back sequences and occasionally impressive pacing , but the overall technical aspect of this film is on the ground floor .
the most important thing is that we've seen it before and it was a lot better .
'clean and sober' , 'only when i laugh' , 'when a man loves a woman' , 'leaving las vegas' and many other stronger films were made about the same issues .
so what's the point ?
in other words '28 days' doesn't contribute to the moviemaking business on any level .
if you're caught in a snowstorm or bolts of lightning fall from the sky and you're standing in front of the movie theatre , you might as well go in and watch '28 days' .
under all other circumstances stay away , because this film equals $8 and 103 minutes lost .
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