Charley's Troubled Life
With his career as a professional baseball player over and feeling remorse for not being there when his beloved mother passed away Charley Benetto (Michael Imperioli) has become a suicidal alcoholic at the end of his tether. After venturing back to the town where he grew up with plans to end it all he finds himself back in his old family home and confronted by his late mother who sets about spending a day with him to try and straighten him out.
Mitch Albom wrote the book and teleplay for one of my favourite movies of all time, a movie which I reckon I probably watch 5 or 6 times a year. That movie is "Tuesdays with Morrie" and it is on the back of that movie that when I came across "For One More Day" and saw Albom's name that I wanted to watch it. Sadly "For One More Day" is not in the same league and probably because I watched with high hopes I ended up more disappointed than maybe I should have been.
Now "For One More Day" is not complicated but there is plenty going on. On one hand we get a look at Charley's life going from a young age when he was bullied by his father to the day when Charley went away and whilst he was gone his mum passed away. Then we have Charley's day with his mum when he gets to realise things were not as he remembered them, learning that after his father left his mum would work Saturday's cleaning homes to pay for Charley and his sister. We also get Charley's troubled relationship with his dad when he is older. All if this interweaves to create this picture of Charley's life, how he got to be suicidal and we get a few twists whilst this is going on when it comes to why Charley is speaking to his mum and some of the things he learns.
The trouble is that you need to stick with the movie for a good hour at which point things suddenly reveal themselves and you begin to understand what is going on. But sticking with "For One More Day" is not easy because the editing as the story shifts from the past to the present to Charley's encounter with his mum are extremely abrupt. It adds to an initial sense of confusion as you try to make sense of the different time lines you are witnessing and no matter how good the performances of Michael Imperioli and Ellen Burstyn are they can't make up for the choppy nature,
What this all boils down to is that "For One More Day" is not a bad movie and the pay off to it as you work out what is going on is not bad. The trouble is the journey to the end is not a smooth one and you need some staying power to stick with it due to the abrupt editing which plagues the movie.