I think this film is masterfully made --with snippets of future, past and present going back and forth --and no confusion. Easy to follow and very suspenseful with sustained air of foreboding throughout.
Two working women, one a single mom of a handicapped son whose father went on to college and married another; the other, a successful, pregnant, career woman with unemployed husband and two kids who are about to lose their home since he lost his job.
Both are under time pressure exacerbated by needs to attend to their children. The single mom has a lousy car with no air-conditioning in oppressivly hot weather. Both are fastened to their cell phones which frequently lose contact. I don't know which actress is which, but the single mom is a great actress; I felt her pressure, her desperation, her misery in the heat, her panic, her anger. Should've gotten an Emmy award!
Traffic is inner city and free-way crazy --with rude drivers everywhere. And this married mom cuts off the single mom at "the last exit" and prevents her from getting to work on time. She works for a lawyer and she is too late and misses the courier's delivery of a document her boss needs by 2 pm. So he sends her out to the courier's to get it. The courier company makes her wait and wait while the lady attends to other customers on the phone. And the company can't reach their courier by phone. She leaves and sees the couriers in a park-like place as they start to disband - bicycle couriers --and she runs and runs through flowerbeds, etc. to catch the courier --and does. Her car had stalled --often--she can't turn it off --and she leaves keys in the car --and uses The Club to lock her car --but then finds that this time she has locked herself out finally --the policeman threatens to tow it --but she stops him and he relents and easily unlocks her car for her -- but he still tickets her.
She goes to buy her son his birthday present for dinner that night with him and his father --and her accounts are depleted --in front of an old high school acquaintance who owns the toy store. She is embarrassed. Both women call it a computer glitch. She pawns her necklace and runs back with the money for his expensive toy.
And then the boy's father announces he is moving an hour away (farther) and buying a house --and he wants the boy for the boy's sake. She is furious. And BTW, she has just lost her job because her boss fired her --even though she got back with the document; he, in the meantime, got the court date moved -- which he said made him look bad and that she had been late before --and he just couldn't take that anymore.
The other lady was also having a time crunch due to kids --and missed an important appointment that would have guaranteed a lucrative promotion for her.
Now the two meet on the road where single mom's car has stalled --and career mom honks at her to move her car. And single mom SNAPS. And Married mom pulls her car around and single mom sees the same expensive private school logo on the back of the career woman's car --same car that cut her off that morning --which made her late to work, losing her job. She snaps --and gets her car started and pulls up behind the other woman who is stalled now by traffic. And starts to beat on her car --recognizing her from the morning.
Then a car chase ensues and there is a crash. One survives.
I thought as I watched it that it said a lot to us about what is really important --and how employers are SOOOOO TIME-CONSCIOUS --and so inflexible --and how hard this is on mothers, in particular. Yes, some things, like court dates are WAY TOO IMPORTANT. If you miss a court date in custody hearing, e.g., there just aren't many excuses that will buy you any time or pardon. The legal and business world are very inflexible --sometimes, schools are, also. It is a cold, cruel world.
I thought, too, how nice it is when mothers can stay home for children and help them with the hustle and bustle of school life --which drives everyone crazy trying to prepare the kids for the adult rat race.
Someone wrote, "Stop the World, I want to Get Off!" It was a movie, wasn't it?
These poor ladies illustrated that sentiment well. The plight of single mom was very evident --the plight of one dealing with handicapped child. The troubled children of the career mom were typical stereotypes, too. Children of the priviliged whose kids were acting out for their too busy parents.
It's really a movie to see for the craftsmanship, IMHO --even though I told you the story line. But I don't know when it will be available again.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible