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28 days

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

The life of the party... before she got a life.

Gwen Cummings (Sandra Bullock) is a successful New York writer living in the fast lane and everyone's favourite party girl - until she gets drunk with boyfriend Jasper (Dominic West), borrows her sister Lilly's (Elizabeth Perkins) wedding limo and earns herself a stay in court-ordered rehab.

There, Gwen comes face to face with a unique set of rules and rituals embraced by an assortment of interesting characters - Counsellor Cornell (Steve Buscemi) and fellow re-habbers Eddie Boone (Viggo Mortensen), Gerhardt (Alan Tudyk), Oliver (Mike O'Malley), Andrea (Azura Skye), Roshanda (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) and Bobbie Jean (Diane Ladd).

Maybe, she discovers, your insides can match your outsides!

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film romantic comedy alcohol drug addiction withdrawal

Persons of interest

  • Susannah Grant .... Screenwriter
  • Betty Thomas .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Wow, Sandra Bullock having to act. It's been a long time since that happened!

Remember back in Speed when she was a nobody chick who sat in the driver's seat reacting to whatever was going on around her and she didn't even have a personal assistant? Well 28 days is a harkening back to those good old days. No glamour makeup, no gorgeous frocks, no fabulous lifestyle. Gwen is a drug-fucked alcoholic in a mutually destructive relationship with a loser bastard and there's no way that Sandra's image makers can put a happy spin on that. It's the noughties and alcoholics are no longer funny.

The best part of it is that Sandra actually can act and this role lets her do it.

The actors playing the other drop-outs from life in rehab are just as talented, fleshing out their ensemble-like roles into bona fide human beings. Steve's counsellor has none of the trademark creepiness that he often has to portray (a boy's gotta eat!). Andrea's smack addict is seriously messed-up. Alan's big queen is seriously real (I know this because I used to have a flatmate who is exactly like that) and seriously funny - gay men always get the best lines. Viggo's hunka hunka burnin' love is seriously sexy but just as brain-warped as the rest of them.

What's best about 28 days is that it doesn't fall into the Hollywood cliché (sorry, is that a tautology?) of heroes and happy ever after. Gwen falls down so many times she might as well stay there. Detox ain't fun in anyone's books. Better still, her roomie O/Ds the night before she was supposed to leave rehab. Talk about inspiring... not! 28 days is a dark tale by its very nature and that is backed up by the dreary, shadowy rehab complex, full of dark wood and cheap hotel lighting (cf the hospital lighting of Girl, interrupted). There's violence, drug use, interpersonal breakdowns, failure and misunderstanding. But...

... there's also some humour, both good and bad. The good humour is situational. People in certain circumstances make jokes to, about and for each other. It's human nature. Some people just come out with things that no-one would dream of saying and that makes everyone laugh. You all know what I am talking about because you've all been there. The bad humour is the American gag, most noticeable in this flick in the random public addresses announcing Tonight's lecture: a series of insultingly funny topics about addicts that no rehab centre would ever use. I can't repeat any because I put them out of my mind before the screening finished.

So, if you enjoy a dark comedy and laughing at the expense of others, 28 days is one for you. It is not Speed 2, it is not even Forces of nature, so you are bound to have fun.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Languages: English, German
  • Subtitles: English, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Icelandic, Hindi, Hebrew, Dutch, Bulgarian, German, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian, Arabic
  • Picture: Widescreen (16:9 enhanced)
  • Audio commentary with director and crew
  • 24 minutes of additional footage
  • 10 minutes of Deleted scenes
  • 15 minute "making of" Featurette
  • How to build a gum wrapper chain instructions
  • Isolated soundtrack
  • Talent profiles
  • Movie trailer
  • Picture disc

Security censorship classification

M (Adult themes, drug references, low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

104 minutes (1:44 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 25 May 2000
DVD rental: 13 December 2000
VHS rental: 13 December 2000
VHS retail: 11 July 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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