Mixed bag

Sometimes I have to wonder why a movie got made, what combination of forces results in the funding and eventual distribution of an idea originally scrawled on some scratch piece of paper somewhere. Take 28 days, for example. It's obviously a star vehicle for Sandra Bullock. On the one hand, in exploring her character, Gwen, experiencing rehab, we have an attempt to broaden her range. She's done dramatic roles before, but nothing yet that has dramatically changed the perception of her abilities the way, perhaps, that Erin Brockovich gave people a new perspective on Julia Roberts' breasts. No wait, scratch that last word. Perhaps it's no coincidence that both films were penned by the same author, Susannah Grant.

On the other hand, 28 days is a comedy, capitalizing highly on the fact that people in despair crack jokes at their own expense, at the expense of others, and also that their behavior - from the cooled perspective of time, or through a movie screen - can be hilarious in its absurdity. This actually isn't a bad way to write a comedy, but the execution undermines the serious side that seems to have been on the agenda for this film.

The characters have fun, and the movie seems to have been a blast to make. At the same time, there's some good observations on human nature and the need for people to help each other out. The ending is a predictable compromise of upbeat and acknowledging the struggle ahead. If you don't mind a little peanut butter on your chocolate, it's worthwhile viewing.

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