A Cool Dry Place
I have seen this film on the backshelves many times, but never was tempted to pick it up. I am huge fan of Vince Vaughn and a bigger fan of Monica Potter, but the film always seemed to be billed as a romantic triangle. I never was in the mood for that, so I passed. Many friends recommended that I check out the film, but I passed. Finally, I decided to give it a shot this week and was pleasantly surprised. However, I was disappointed that the film was mischaracterized in materials I read about it.
Based on the novel Dance Real Slow by Michael Grant Jaffe, the film is about one man's struggle to raise his child, Calvin (Bobby Moat). Vince Vaughn stars as Russell, a big time Chicago lawyer whose life is turned upside down when his wife, Kate (Monica Potter), abandons the family. He leaves his job with a powerful Chicago law firm and moves to Kansas, so he can have a slower pace of life and lighter workload. It appears as if his wife will never return, so Russell moves on with his life and starts to fall in love with a local lady, Beth (Joey Lauren Adams). You guessed it! Kate shows up and disrupts everything when she wants her son back.
Will Russell be able to keep Calvin? Will his wife reunite the family? What about Beth?
The story is great and has several different layers, which makes it more interesting. Russell is struggling with his former career and the promise of great success and wealth that he had to leave behind to raise his child. He loves Calvin, but struggles with single parenthood and what could have been.
Russell also struggles with his love life. He still loves his wife, but has lost all respect for her. He thinks he has found a great lady in Beth and is ready to move forward with his life when his wife re-enters the picture. The film is very predictable up until the last half-hour, which saves it from becoming too sappy.
It is a tough role for Vaughn, but he pulls it off. Often, Vaughn can come off as cocky, but in this film he is a likable, caring family man trying to do his best. The other actors aren't challenged much, so Vaughn stands out from the crowd.
Check it out this weekend.
Directed by John N. Smith
Written by Matthew McDuffie
Based on the novel Dance Real Slow by Michael Grant Jaffe
Vince Vaughn .. Russell
Monica Potter .. Kate
Joey Lauren Adams . Beth
Bobby Moat . Calvin
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