Edge, Movies, Reviews

‘Reach Me’ falls short of reaching expectations

Returning to campus, Director and University of Miami alumnus John Herzfeld brought together a star-studded cast in his latest film “Reach Me,” including Kyra Sedgwick, Thomas Jane, Kevin Connolly, Nelly, Kelsey Grammer, Tom Berenger, Danny Aiello, Danny Trejo and UM alumnus Sylvester Stallone.

There were high expectations for the movie “Reach Me,” however many were not met. The film premiered in the Field House Thursday Nov. 20 with Herzfeld and actors Aiello and Berenger participating in a question and answer session afterward.

The film focused on a motivational book by the anonymous Teddy Raymond (Berenger).  Various characters in the film stumble upon it, leading them to seriously reassess their life choices, which compel the characters to overcome their fears in hopes of living a better life.

During the session, Herzfeld revealed the inspiration for several scenes, many of which were based on real-life situations. One inspiration came from a day when, after being fired from a job, Herzfeld went to the beach in Hudson Park and screamed at the ocean. This was the origin of the scene where Roger (Kevin Connolly) screamed at the ocean, “My name is Roger and I am not a smoker.” According to Herzfeld, Connolly, just like his character, smoked two packs of cigarettes a day since the age of 14, but has not smoked since playing his role.

Herzfeld prided himself on choosing actors talented enough to have freedom with their characters. For some like Aiello, who played an alcoholic named Father Paul, the creative freedom was beneficial, but for others like Thomas Jane who played Wolfie, a western-like cop who killed for a living, the freedom may not have been the best choice. One of the fallen expectations emerged when Wolfie entered a very urban setting. He had his own cowboy-themed music and style that was more confusing than entertaining.

Apart from the odd characters, there were also a string of random plots: a woman newly released from jail, an aspiring actress, gangsters on a mission, a journalist attempting to find a new career and a man with a little dog and stereotypical bimbo girlfriend. Somehow these all were supposed to join into one coherent plot, but instead these characters were thrown in one space and given a conflict to deal with, as if Herzfeld forgot that these plots needed to connect at some point.

Despite the unfortunate shortcomings of the film, there were still many upsides that made it worth watching.

For starters, “Reach Me” was funny and had plenty of back-to-back comedic situations that held the audience’s attention.

Some of the best moments were when Father Paul walked away from the confession drinking and in another scene when Dominic (David O’Hara), an intellectually disabled gangster, reads out loud thought-provoking quotes as his partner is beating up their newest victim, awkwardly disturbing the violent atmosphere.

As each plot developed, a serious message of self-reflection began to emerge, ensuring that the path the viewer is taking is the path he or she wants to be on. “Reach Me” suggested that viewers face their fears of failure or inability to achieve and just go with what makes them happy.

“Reach Me” has its ups and downs, and depending on the day, it could be a worthwhile film.

 

December 10, 2014

Reporters

Nadijah Campbell


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

At 9:17 p.m. Tuesday, University of Miami football coach Manny Diaz, who these days doubles as a Hur ...

With just 14 more shopping days before National Signing Day, here’s where the Hurricanes stand with ...

Manny Diaz’s coaching staff for the Miami Hurricanes is finally set. Less than three weeks after he ...

There’s at least a chance this might not be the final season watching a Wade perform on a large Sout ...

The one major hole missing on Manny Diaz’s staff until Friday was the lockdown ace recruiter. The ne ...

A large area of low pressure and arctic air swirling above the North Pole fractured and split into t ...

The University of Miami brings together leaders in academia, professional practice, and industry to ...

On Dec. 14, 2018 universal health care programs in both the United States and Mexico were dealt sign ...

For the first time in more than 15 years, two of UMTV’s weekly shows were nominated for the Televisi ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Daevenia Achong of the No. 17 Miami women's tennis team reeled in a pair of ACC accolades, as a ...

University of Miami sophomore Adria Soriano Barrera, ranked No. 21 on the Oracle/ITA singles list, g ...

Following a one-week absence, the Miami women's basketball team reentered the top 25 of the USA ...

The Miami women's basketball team will play its highest-ranked opponent of the season thus far ...

University of Miami Athletics announced Monday that it will host its fifth annual Celebration of Wom ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.