Sunday, February 5, 2012

Divorce and Custody Movie Review - Changing Lanes

Today I review Changing Lanes from my collection of divorce, child custody and child support related movies.

Changing Lanes - [2002] Roger Mitchell brings to us a well directed taught legal action thriller.

The film opens with Samuel Jackson planning for the new home that he will occupy along with his sons. He gets approved for the loan to purchase his first home. The film breaks back and forth between Ben Affleck's legal career in which there is some trouble and Jackson's recovery from a life of excessive alcohol consumption where he attends meetings, works at his job and prepares for his custody hearing that day.

Then their two worlds come crashing together, literally, on the highway as both are on their way to court. In Affleck's haste he abandons Jackson on the highway but also leaves behind an important file folder. Jackson makes it to court but only as his hearing is concluding and custody of his children are awarded solely to the mother who is moving to the West coast from the East coast.

The judge is unsympathetic to Jackson's plea to reopen the hearing because he was delayed by a car wreck. A cat and mouse game ensues between Affleck and Jackson as Afflect seeks the return of his folder and Jackson seeks reparation for being abandoned along the side of the road causing him to lose custody of his boys.

The most disappointing section of the film is a subsequent highway scene in which the front wheel comes off of Affleck's car. For some unknown reason Affleck attempts to accelerate and control the vehicle at interstate speed absent one wheel. His futile efforts ends with the car spinning out of control and coming to rest after decelerating from the effects of friction. This painful to watch sequence should be used as a bathroom break so that the rest of the feeling that director of photography Salvatore Totino gives to the viewer is not lost.

Jackson and the mother meet to discuss their future and to look at the house. In a poignant moment she tells him that she thinks that in Portland she may find a man who is what she wanted Jackson to be and what he was for awhile. He concedes that it may be best for the boys and gives her his blessings.

Later she tells him that she is going to make sure that he never sees his boys again. She states that she needs to protect the boys and their interest. The film concludes with Jackson on one side of the street while the mom and the boys standing on the other side. It is left to the viewer to draw his or her own conclusion about their future.

If there is a movie that you would like reviewed please send a request to me. The complete list of movies I have reviewed may be viewed here.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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