This drama tries to take on racial discrimination. After opening with a car crash, the story flashes back to the lives of each person involved in the crash. Jean (Sandra Bullock), the wife of wealthy Brentwood District Attorney (Brendan Fraser), trusts and respects nobody who does not have white skin and a middle-class-or-higher income, but the crash causes her to face the reality of her anger and her lack of intimate relationships. The wife of a TV director learns to forgive and to offer grace when she receives critical help from a police officer (Matt Dillon) who sexually molested her only 24 hours earlier, simply because he viewed her as a lowly black woman. In contrast, Officer Hanson (Ryan Phillippe) appears to be culturally sensitive and respectful of all people until he finds himself facing death. Unknown connections in these intertwined lives are not revealed until the end.
Prior to seeing this film I hadn’t construed a common theme other than the lives of several groups of people intersect because of an accident. It didn’t take much time to derive racism and stereotypes as the focal points. The writers effectively addressed their opinions on the prevalence of racism in today’s society. While some of it may be true, I felt it was over the top. The acting and cinematography were very well done; however, the film generates a very negative perception of America and its inter-racial relationships.
If this movie had followed a Sesame Street format, “F” would have been the letter of the day. Of the 155 obscenities, the “F” word is used 87 times. This might have been a great time for the classic line “If I had a dollar for every time I heard that…” All jokes aside, I was completely shocked at the amount of cursing, but I did understand that a majority of it was from two “street thugs” who used that language on a constant basis. There was also a sex scene revealing a woman’s breasts after a scene where a woman is sexually molested by a police officer. Most of the graphic material is due to the producer’s attempt to grasp an accurate feel of the “street culture.” This film cannot be Dove approved, at least 87 times over.