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Movie Review

After stealing a limousine and crashing it into a house while drunk, Gwen, a big-city newspaper columnist, is forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehab center. She considers it a complete waste of time and she thinks the people there are a bunch of losers. So Gwen awaits the completion of her one-month confinement so she can continue her party lifestyle. But slowly she comes to realize that she indeed does have a problem and begins embracing (and caring for) those around her.

Positive Elements: While 28 Days could never be recommended due to obscenities and sexual innuendo, it has a good heart. The lows of addiction are not glamorized. And by movie’s end [warning: major plot points revealed here], viewers see that a 12-step program can be successful even in hard cases like Gwen’s—who eventually does choose sobriety. Gwen also realizes that she’s misjudged those in rehab. Eventually, she learns how to becomes a giver and finds that she receives from them as well. With many hugs and tears, Gwen’s sister wishes she would have been more available for Gwen after their mother died.

Spiritual Content: During AA-like meetings, attendees pray and sing to a higher power.

Sexual Content: Sexual banter and suggestive situations abound. In an attempt to underscore the downward spiral of addiction, the director filmed a rough and tumble bedroom scene (no nudity) involving Gwen and her boyfriend, Jaspar—both high. The following morning it’s obvious from how they "wear" the sheets that they’re naked in bed together. Gwen is also seen through a translucent shower door. Later, at the rehab center, another sex scene involves a couple entwined in an elevator (the man is clothed but the woman is naked). Another scene is similar. Eddie, a baseball pitcher also in rehab, is shown leaving his room nearly nude. Behind him a woman is seen lying in his bed. Sexual and homosexual comments include a man referring to his genitals as "my package." Gwen asks Eddie—who has a case of baseballs nearby—"What’s wrong with your balls, so to speak?" One man, who plays a gay character bemoans the fact that he was circumcised without his consent. Later he remarks, "I’m never gonna get laid." Gwen is called a lesbian, a label she adamantly refutes. "Not that there’s anything wrong with that," intones someone in the group.

Violent Content: In a flashback scene to her childhood, Gwen slaps her mother to awaken her from a drunken stupor. Gwen’s two love interests, Jaspar and Eddie end up in a fistfight after exchanging words.

Crude or Profane Language: About 15 obscenities including the f-word and s-word. In rehab, an angry Gwen uses the f-word to tell her group off. She winds up getting their applause. Additionally, 50-some other profanities include the improper use of God’s name.

Drug and Alcohol Content: Although the early party scenes are shown with people laughing and having a "good" time, overall drug and alcohol addiction is portrayed in a negative light. Gwen prefers alcohol, but also pops percodan.

Other Negative Elements: Gwen’s heroin-addicted teen roommate (who is shown with a self-inflicted slash across her leg) winds up overdosing. Thankfully, her actions are not glamorized.

Summary: 28 Days, unlike Next Friday and Dazed and Confused, portrays sobriety as positive and addiction as negative. That’s the good news. But no one needs the constant bombardment of obscenities, profanities and sexual situations to get that message.

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Sandra Bullock as Gwen Cummings; Viggo Mortensen as Eddie Boone; Dominic West as Jasper; Diane Ladd as Bobbie Jean; Elizabeth Perkins as Lilly; Steve Buscemi as Cornell


Betty Thomas ( )


Columbia Pictures



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