Changing Lanes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Changing Lanes
Changing Lanes poster.JPG
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Roger Michell
Produced by Scott Rudin
Screenplay by Chap Taylor
Michael Tolkin
Story by Chap Taylor
Starring
Music by David Arnold
Cinematography Salvatore Totino
Edited by Christopher Tellefsen
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • April 12, 2002 (2002-04-12)
Running time
99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million[1]
Box office $95 million

Changing Lanes is a 2002 American drama thriller film directed by Roger Michell and starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson. The film follows a successful, young Wall Street lawyer (Affleck) who accidentally crashes his car into a vehicle driven by a middle-aged, recovering alcoholic insurance salesman (Jackson). After the lawyer leaves the scene of the accident, the two men try to get back at each other, engaging in a variety of immoral and illegal actions that end up having a major impact on each man's life.

The film was released on April 12, 2002 in North America by Paramount Pictures. The film was favourably reviewed by critics and it was a box office success, earning almost $95 million against a $45 million budget. Writers Chap Taylor and Michael Tolkin were nominated for the WAFCA Award for Best Original Screenplay for their work.[2]

Plot[edit]

In New York City, a middle-aged African-American insurance salesman named Doyle Gipson is a recovering alcoholic who is attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to stay sober. On the same morning that Gipson drives to a hearing to try to regain custody of his children, a successful, Caucasian-American, young Wall Street attorney, Gavin Banek, is distracted while driving and collides his new Mercedes CLK320 with Gipson's older Toyota Corolla. Banek was in a rush to get to court to file a power of appointment document, which will prove a dead man signed his foundation over to Banek's law firm. Gipson was also in a rush to get to a hearing to argue for joint custody of his sons with his estranged wife. Banek tries to brush Gipson off with a blank check, rather than exchanging insurance information, thereby disobeying the law. Gipson refuses to accept the check and voices his desire to "do this right", but Banek, whose car is still drivable, insists upon leaving immediately. He leaves Gipson stranded, telling him, "better luck next time". After arriving to the court late, Gipson learns that the judge ruled against him in his absence, giving sole custody of the boys to Gipson's wife and allowing her to proceed with a plan to move to Oregon, never knowing that Gipson was about to buy a house locally and give it to his wife and children as part of his effort to make joint custody workable for everyone.

When Banek gets to court, he realizes that he dropped the crucial power of appointment file at the scene of the accident, and the judge gives him until the end of the day to retrieve it. Gipson, who scooped up the file, is torn, and initially refuses to return the file. Banek, who is desperate to get his papers back, goes to a "fixer", a shady computer hacker, and gets him to switch off Gipson's credit, which destroy's Gipson's chance for a home loan to keep his family together. Gipson is distraught when he finds out his credit has been ruined and he comes close to drinking again. Determined to get back at Banek, Gipson loosens the bolts on one of Banek's wheels, and Banek suffers some minor injuries after his car crashes on the highway. Enraged, Banek goes to the elementary school of Gipson's children and tells school officials that Gipson plans to kidnap the boys, so Gipson is arrested and jailed. His enraged wife declares her intention to move forward with taking their sons to Oregon and says that Gipson will never see them again.

Both men, shaken by the consequences of their actions, start to reconsider their desire for vengeance and try to find a way out. Although it appears unlikely that either man will achieve what he had hoped, both resolve to let go and do what is right, and the two men apologize to each other. Gipson returns the file containing the power of attorney, which Banek has since learned was obtained illegally, and he uses it to blackmail his boss to conduct business honestly and get approval to represent Gipson pro bono to resolve his legal troubles. Banek also visits Gipson's wife to explain everything. The film ends with Gipson's wife and children smiling at him from across the street.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film was a box office success, with a budget of $45,000,000, it grossed $66,818,548 in the United States and $28,117,216 internationally, for a total gross of $94,935,764.[1]

Critical response[edit]

The film received favorable reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 77% based on reviews from 151 critics, with an average score of 7/10.[3] Metacritic gave it an average score of 69/100 from the 36 reviews it collected.[4]

Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times praised the film, calling it one of the year's best.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]