Changing Lanes


By Debbie Elicksen.

It could happen to anyone. That is what makes Changing Lanes (2002), written by Chad Taylor and Michael Tolkin such a compelling story. The moral of the screenplay is, your reaction determines your future.

Lawyer Gavin Banek (Ben Affleck) and Doyle Gipson (Samuel L. Jackson), a father fighting for visitation rights, get into an accident on the freeway. Both are in the same kind of hurry. Banek has to get to court to file important paperwork and Jackson needs to show up for a custody hearing or he loses his children. They’re both late, and in his haste to exchange information, Banek accidentally leaves the crucial file he needs for court with Gipson, who he also refuses to give a ride to. His inconsideration makes Gipson late for the meeting and and he loses custody. After he leaves the court, he discovers the lawyer’s file and throws it in the trash, along with the statement he wanted to read at the hearing. Things de-escalate for each of them. After some time and pain, they both make amends.

Toni Collette, Sydney Pollack, and William Hurt costar in this poignant drama. It was directed by Roger Michell. This gets four stars out of five.

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