CHANGING LANES. Paramount Pictures, 2002. Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, Kim Staunton, Amanda Peet, Toni Collette, Sydney Pollack. Director: Roger Michell.

   Matching Ben Affleck up with Samuel L. Jackson is like putting a loaf of Wonder Bread into the ring with one the most intimidating and scene-stealing actors on the big screen in the last 20 or 30 years. The former is a high-powered attorney who needs a particular file to convince a judge that his firm has the legal right to oversee a charity foundation that the senior partners, including his father-in-law (Sydney Pollack) are milking millions of dollars from, unknown to him.

   While Samuel L. Jackson is a middle-aged father whose wife is leaving him and heading across the country with their two young boys. It seems that he has alcohol problems, and anger management issues. What’s the connection between the two? A collision between their two cars on the FDR Highway while both are running late for appointments, both in courtrooms. Affleck rushes off, and Jackson, being late for his courtroom date, finds his life slowly swirling down the drain.

   Except for one thing. He has Affleck’s missing file.

   In the events that follow, all taking place at an ever-escalating rate during the course of a single day, it is Jackson’s woes that engage us more. His pain is the more visible, and his revenge, although going waaaay over the top, is all the sweeter. Not that Affleck’s problems are going to go away anytime soon. Even his wife, the boss’s daughter (Amanda Peet), piles on, urging him during lunch to do the Right thing, which of course is the Wrong thing.

   Does it end well? Without giving much away, I hope [WARNING: PLOT ALERT], in movies like this, they almost always do. This one was a lot of fun to watch.