Reviewed by: Halyna Barannik
|Featuring:||Sandra Bullock, Diane Ladd, Viggo Mortensen, Azura Skye, Elizabeth Perkins|
|Director:||Bo Johnson, Betty Thomas, Declan Quinn|
Another title for “28 Days” could be “Sandra Bullock goes to rehab.” That’s about the long and the short of it.
Bullock plays the role of Gwen, your average successful working girl who has a live-in boyfriend, Jasper (Dominic West), with whom she likes to romp in bed. We learn right from the start that she is also an alcoholic as she ruins her sister’s wedding with her outrageous behavior, bad-mouthing the marriage while giving her drunk toast, and falling onto the cake in her drunk stupor. Not to mention the black bra peeking out from under her pink bridesmaid’s dress.
Next scene, we’re at a rehab center, which is better than going to jail for the disaster she brought about with her drunk driving. Unlike “Girl, Interrupted,” which takes a serious look at mental problems with full-dimensional characterization, “28 Days” makes a caricature of just about everything and everybody. The various people we meet at this sanitarium are a superficially depicted hodge-podge of problems. The only one with any artistic merit is the character of Gwen, because Sandra Bullock is a good enough actress to take a bad script and pull it off. She also gets reasonable artistic support from Steve Buscemi, who plays her counselor, Cornell.
Bullock’s character does go through what alcoholics experience, namely first denying and then recognizing their substance abuse and addiction. Her days at the rehab center work, she pulls herself up by her bootstraps, and gets a grip on herself. When she leaves, we presume she is better and stronger. She seems to be, as she dumps her good-for-nothing, but successful, boyfriend. Bullock is convincing in her portrayal as someone who genuinely wants to change her life and get better.
Die-hard Sandra Bullock fans (like me) will tolerate this movie. Otherwise, there is not much to recommend.