- 1 hr 28 min
Panic is a 2000 drama-comedy film directed by Henry Bromell and starring William H. Macy, Neve Campbell, and John Ritter. The film revolves around a man named Alex (played by Macy), who is struggling to cope with the challenges of mid-life crisis, and his encounter with a young woman named Sarah (played by Campbell). The movie begins with Alex sitting in his car, listening to a self-help audio book, trying to gather the courage to ask his wife, Martha (played by Tracey Ullman), for a divorce. He is struggling with his identity, his job, and his life, and is in desperate need of a change. Meanwhile, Sarah is dealing with her own demons. She is a free spirit, who is living with her junkie mother in a run-down apartment, and is trying to make a living as a masseuse. One day, Alex goes to a strip club and, to his surprise, discovers that Sarah is working there as a dancer. He becomes enamored with her, and starts to track her down, eventually leading to a chance encounter on a street corner, where Alex asks Sarah to come with him on a road trip. Initially hesitant, Sarah eventually agrees, and the two set out on a journey across California, searching for something that will give their lives meaning. As Alex and Sarah make their way through the Golden State, they encounter a host of colorful characters, including a con artist (played by Donald Sutherland), a psychic (played by Barbara Bain), and a fellow traveler (played by John Ritter), who becomes an unlikely confidant for Alex. Along the way, the two of them still struggle to come to terms with their own personal demons, but through their interactions and their experiences, they start to find a way forward. Panic is a film that is often described as a comedy-drama, but it is much more than that. It is a film that grapples with the challenges of adulthood, and the struggles that come with trying to find meaning and purpose in life. It is a film that is deeply human, and that touches on themes of love, loss, regret, and redemption. At the heart of the movie is William H. Macy's performance as Alex. Macy is an actor who has mastered the art of playing ordinary, everyday people with extraordinary depth and complexity, and he brings that same skill to this film. As Alex, Macy is vulnerable, flawed, and ultimately, deeply relatable. He captures the struggle of a man who is trying to get out of a rut, and who is searching for something more. Neve Campbell, meanwhile, is a revelation as Sarah. Known primarily for her work in the Scream movies, Campbell delivers a performance that is both fearless and vulnerable. She captures the wounded spirit of a young woman who has been dealt a tough hand in life, and who is struggling to find her place in the world. Alex and Sarah's chemistry is palpable, and their journey together is both poignant and deeply satisfying. John Ritter also delivers a memorable performance as the kind-hearted traveler that Alex and Sarah meet on their road trip. Ritter, who passed away in 2003, was known primarily for his comedic work, but here, he channels a warmth and generosity that is truly special. His scenes with Macy are some of the film's best, and his presence is sorely missed in the film's final act. Overall, Panic is a film that is well worth seeking out. It is a film that captures the messy, complicated nature of life, and the joys and sorrows that come with it. It is a film that celebrates the power of human connection, and the ways in which we can help each other along the way. With its strong performances and its heartfelt message, Panic is a film that will stay with you long after it's over.