Katie T has returned to share with us her thoughts on the film just released for home viewing, Smashed. Here we go:
I love addiction-to-redemption movies. They present characters with an obvious, tangible problem and then they take us through the steps to recovery and then they let us experience the triumph. So many of the problems most of us experience day-to-day are much less visible, and much harder to define. I love to get lost in movies like this, hide from my not-quite-sure-how-to-explain-this problems, and let the characters’ fictional recoveries wash over me. Healthy? Maybe not.
Kate and Charlie Hannah built a marriage on the mutual love of alcohol. Nights of bad decisions caused by alcohol impaired judgment, and an event that threatens the job she loves, wake Kate up to see that she has a problem. She joins AA and tries to get sober, with the help of her sponsor, Jenny, and the good-hearted, albeit creepy, vice principal, Mr. Davies.
Kate, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (of Scott Pilgrim Vs the World) and Charlie, played by Aaron Paul (of Breaking Bad) do an incredible job keeping their characters from becoming stereotypical “lost partiers” and feel like flesh and blood. The love they have for each other is so real, I found myself rooting for their marriage, no matter how destructive it seemed at times.
Winstead carries the movie. She wears the same glamour-less outfits over and over, clad in almost no makeup. Director James Ponsoldt does a good job keeping Smashed from falling into melodrama as so many like it do. It’s a gritty film, with an ending that hits a note more real world than Hollywood.
Besides the obvious theme of alcoholism, the film takes a close look at what it means to live life honestly and to take responsibility for your actions. The film stays off of a soapbox, acknowledging the difficulty and consequences that come with an honest life. It’s not a family-friendly film, and probably not for everyone, but if you’re like me and like this genre of movies, then I definitely recommend Smashed.
3 stars out of 4