Christmas Comedy Countdown: The Family Man

My favourite Nicolas Cage film is something of a genius remake of A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life combined, but it's done so subtly that you probably wouldn't even notice.

The film starts with Jack (Nicolas Cage) leaving his girlfriend Kate (Téa Leoni) at the airport as he leaves for a business trip, saying that he'll be back soon. However, there's a feeling he won't be.

Years later, Jack is a successful businessman, the richest man in his apartment in fact! He is randomly sent a box of his old things from Kate, who he hadn't thought about in years. Not paying this too much attention, he soon finds himself caught up in an incident at a local convenience store. He manages to talk round Cash, the man causing the problem who was furious when the staff wouldn't give him his lottery winnings (to the point of pulling out a gun), and, while chatting to Cash, Jack tells him he has 'everything he needs' in life. To this, Cash takes issue.

Cash acts as the guardian angel/Ghost of Christmas Past character to the narrative, and when Jack wakes up the following morning he finds himself leading an entirely different life - a glimpse of how his life would have been had he stayed with Kate and lived a family life. But as Cash is at pains to remind him, it is to be just a glimpse.

This is such a brilliant, criminally underrated movie, both as a Nicolas Cage flick and as a Christmas film. Nicolas Cage shares great chemistry with Téa Leoni, and this makes it one of his best films ever!

One of the highlights is Danny Elfman's amazing score (whose music you'd know from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands and even The Simpsons). A favourite includes this beautiful piece of music: The Promise.

Sure, some of the romance is a bit soppy, but it is Christmas after all, and there's something really lovely about this film. No spoilers here, but I really love the ending. Channel 5 nearly always put this on at Christmas, so don't miss it this year!

Written by Rhianna Evans

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