May 30, 2001 -- The multi-talented Jennifer Lopez turns in a powerful performance as a tough, but vulnerable Chicago cop in "Angel Eyes." Who would expect a dramatic romance with a realistic adult who is a responsible, believable person with a real job, living in a realistic looking apartment? I can't remember the last time I saw something like this. There is also a Hispanic family, albeit a troubled one, which has an important role in the film, another rarity.
Lopez takes a chance on the tough role of police officer Sharon Pogue and she pulls it off beautifully. It is a challenging role because she has to do the acting for two people, herself and the emotionally challenged Chance (played by James Caviezel of "Frequency"). The mysterious Chance appears out of nowhere to tackle a gunman who is just about to kill Pogue. She finds herself falling for the mysterious stranger, but she is cautious with her heart. She also wants to find out more about him. It's more than a compelling love story, it is also a mystery.
Pogue has a long-standing feud with her father. She's suffering from job stress and is lonely, but she is determined to keep her feelings to herself. She doesn't know what to make of Catch. He seems almost too good to be true. She is cautious and has a hard time trusting anyone. Catch has a hard time letting go of his very mysterious and painful past. It is a good story about the difficulties, the risks, the costs, and the rewards of love.
Lopez is fabulous in the lead role. Caviezel brings a kind of hangdog soulfulness to his role as the broken man who can't confront his past, similar to the role that William Hurt had in "The Accidental Tourist," and that Robin Williams had in "The Fisher King." There is also a good supporting cast, including Pogue's partner, Robbie (Terrence Dashon Howard of "Big Momma's House").
Cinematographer Piotr Sobocinski does some neat things with camera angles, camera tilts, lighting effects and other techniques to make the film more visually interesting. The directing (Luis Mandoki) and writing team (Gerald Di Pego) of "Message in a Bottle" combine their talents for a movie that is a notch above their previous effort. The film is well written, edited, photographed and directed. Good movie. It rates a B.
Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.