Drama/Comedy

Reach Me

Distributed by Millennium Entertainment

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

 

                Some time ago, I listened to a soundtrack for review and sat there scratching my head.  The musical genre of the soundtrack was all over the place and I decided I should find out what Reach Me was about before reviewing the soundtrack.  After reading about the film and looking at the all star cast, I knew I had to see it.

                Reach Me's central focus is a self help book by the same name written by a man named Teddy Raymond.  No one knows who Mr. Raymond is, but it seems the messages in his book have touched a great many people.  Take E-Ruption (Nelly), for example.  This was a man doing time in prison for a crime he didn't commit.  He was angry and disillusioned until Reach Me saved his life.  Now he is on top of the rapping industry with no signs of slowing down.  Then there's Collette (Kyra Sedgwick), a woman just released from prison after burning down the home she once shared with her cheating ex-husband.  She feels a special connection to the man who wrote this book.  Thumper (David O'Hara) discovers the book after beating the snot out of someone for his mob boss.  Realizing he is not living up to his potential, he convinces his best friend and partner (Omari Hardwick) that they need to leave the business and carry out their dreams.

                Of course, not everyone is happy with this book.  After all, Frank (Tom Sizemore) is Thumper's boss.  Thumper decides to leave the business just when Frank is seeking to collect a debt from a deadbeat filmmaker (Cary Elwes) and his timing couldn't be worse.  Crime boss Angelo AldoBrandini (Kelsey Grammer) is none to happy with Frank's performance as his captain and wants his money back or someone's head.

                Meanwhile, Gerald (Sylvester Stallone), head of a popular internet magazine, wants to know why someone with such brilliant insight into the world would want to go into hiding.  What is in this Teddy Raymond's past that he wants to keep hidden?  He sends Roger (Kevin Connolly), an investigative reporter with dreams of becoming a novelist, out to uncover this Raymond (Tom Berenger) and expose his secrets to the world.  But what Roger discovers is a woman (Lauren Cohan) who Raymond has saved with his ideology and a man who just wants to stay out of the spotlight.

                As I began watching this film, I wondered how all of these stories were going to be woven into one another.  After all, in addition to the above mentioned characters, there is also an actress (Jillian Barberie) whose big break turns into a horrific episode of sexual abuse and a cop (Thomas Jane) who can't stop killing criminals and the alcoholic priest (Danny Aiello) who has to suffer through his confessions.  How will all of these stories converge into one?  Masterfully! 

                Reach Me is definitely a feel good movie.  It's one of those films that turn out just as you predicted with everyone...well, almost everyone...getting their happily ever after moment thanks to a book that inspires them to believe in themselves.  Now, before you walk away from this film, thinking, "Why bother if it's so predictable?"  Well, the fun is in getting there.  Reach Me is a dramedy with a great cast with a whole lot of chemistry, great writing and an uplifting message.  The fun of it all is to see how the writers were able to weave these stories together and make them whole.  In fact, you will realize that none of these characters were whole until they read or heard about Reach Me and they won't be fully whole until they meet the author.  He is the catalyst for change that each of these characters needed, whether they realized it or not.  Reach Me is a great story that deserves a great deal more credit than it has gotten from critics.  It's well worth the watch!

 


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