Sally Field showcases her talents in Two Weeks, a tale of a woman, Anita (played by Field), who is near death due to cancer. Her grown children return home to help prepare her funeral arrangements. While the end is supposed to be near, Anita has two more weeks in her, and her four children take turns reminiscing and fighting about the past and present.
Julianne Nicholson plays Anita's daughter Emily, and Ben Chaplin, Tom Cavanagh, and Glenn Howerton play sons Keith, Barry and Matthew, respectively. Keith is an LA-based filmmaker who has decided to video his mother’s final days; Barry is a workaholic who has a hard time disrupting his work routine; Matthew, the youngest in the family, has a shrew of a wife whom the rest of the family detests; and Emily, the only girl, is stepping into the role of matriarch by “helping” her brothers cope with their mom’s death through books on the dying process. Anita's second husband of 13 years, Jim (James Murtagh) is a man who does not care for her children — and the feeling is mutual.
Director Steve Stockman’s Two Weeks is based on personal experience — his mother died at home in 1997 and the whole family was there. He took notes at the time and came across them years later. Through his recollection of both the tragic circumstances and the inevitable humor life brings to even the saddest situations, Stockman created a film at once funny, sad, and thoughtful.
The film is offered in both widescreen and full screen. The DVD also features commentary from Stockman, who invited Dr. Ira Byock, an end of life expert and director of palliative care at Dartmouth, to comment with him. In the commentary, Stockman talks about what went on with the making of the movie, and Dr. Byock gives his perspective for people who are facing, or have faced, the same situation. In addition, there’s a Group Discussion Guide viewers can flip through on screen, which outlines possible questions for group discussion. The last substantial extra is a 23-minute making-of featurette, "Learning to Live Through Dying." The extras are rounded out by four scenes labeled deleted.
Exploring issues such as marriage, children, family and religion, Two Weeks covers a lot of ground. It’s not a light movie. But for those who give it a chance, Two Weeks delivers honest emotion and humor, which is pretty much what you also get in “real” life.