28 Days (2000) / Comedy-Drama
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for mature themes, drug references, language, and some sensuality
Running Time: 103 min.
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortensen, Dominic West, Elizabeth Perkins, Azura Skye, Steve Buscemi, Alan Tudyk, Michael O'Malley, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Reni Santoni, Diane Ladd
Director: Betty Thomas
Screenplay: Susannah Grant
Review published April 22, 2000
Sandra Bullock (Forces of Nature, Practical Magic) plays a newspaper columnist who is forced to enter a drug rehab facility or face going to jail after she steals a limo and ends up in an accident. While there, she stubbornly refuses to join in the singing and slogans, but gets to know and like some of the oddballs that inhabit the place. Now all she has to do is go clean and sober.
28 Days is directed by former "Hill Street Blues" actress Betty Thomas (Private Parts, The Late Shift), who just doesn't know what to do with the undercooked screenplay except to roll film. It plays like a comedy, but it's actually not very funny, achieving most of its decent moments during the serious scenes, of which there just aren't enough. One wonders how much better the film would have been if it were a drama with comedic moments instead of the other way around.
Bullock is always fun to watch, and the loonies of the rehab center are endearing in their own ways. However, without genuine laughs or a compelling message, 28 Days is nothing more than a collection of quirky scenes and characters that never amount to anything of substance.
©2000 Vince Leo