Year 9, Day 133 - 5/13/17 - Movie #2,628
BEFORE: Margot Martindale carries over from "The Hollars", and while this film may not have much to do with Mother's Day, it provides the link through Margot that I need to get there. I had this scheduled for the end of May to follow "Our Brand Is Crisis", but in that case it would have created a dead-end to the chain, but moving it here to replace "Drugstore Cowboy" at the last minute gives it more of a purpose.
THE PLOT: A newspaper columnist is forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehab center after ruining her sister's wedding and crashing a stolen limousine.
AFTER: There's probably a great, incisive film to me made about addiction and the rehab process, but I'm not sure that this is it. Mainly because normal people have addictions, plenty of people are apparently powerless over drugs and/or alcohol and find the 12-step programs to be helpful, but this seemed to be more about one person's individual arrogance, and coming to terms with the consequences of her destructive behavior. I mean, I guess you can tell the bigger story by focusing on the smaller story, but is the result really the same?
Plus, isn't it overly simplistic to tie the main character's alcohol abuse to her boyfriend, making him not just an enabler for her addiction, but also a convenient plot device? And once the film identifies him as an enabler, well aren't we then all supposed to root for the demise of the relationship, so she can finally stay sober? Why can't she change her behavior and have a relationship, why is that deemed to be impossible? It seems she gave that possibility the most cursory of tries.
It probably didn't help that she noticed the hunky baseball star who checked in to rehab about a week after she did. I guess maybe if that's enough to make her question her relationship, then maybe it wasn't that solid in the first place. Or maybe getting wasted and getting into trouble were the only two things they had in common, I don't know.
I admit I have very little idea about what goes on in a rehab center, except I used to watch "Celebrity Rehab", and that show hasn't been on in years. (It might be time to bring it back, hint hint...) Still, it's hard for me to believe the path to sobriety goes through making chewing gum wrapper necklaces and convincing a horse to let you lift up its leg. Is that a real thing, or did some screenwriter use random therapy ideas to fill in the gaps when he also had no idea what goes on in rehab?
And there is a Mother's Day connection, since we learn through flashbacks that the main character's mother was a user too, so it could be one of those "I learned it from watching YOU!" situations - Happy (almost) Mother's Day!
Also starring Sandra Bullock (last heard in "Minions"), Viggo Mortensen (last seen in "Ruby Cairo"), Dominic West (last seen in "From Time to Time"), Elizabeth Perkins (last seen in "The Flintstones"), Steve Buscemi (last heard in "Hotel Transylvania 2"), Alan Tudyk (last heard in "Rogue One"), Azura Skye (last seen in "Red Dragon"), Mike O'Malley (last seen in "Concussion"), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (last seen in "Robocop" (2014)), Diane Ladd (last seen in "Joy"), Reni Santoni (last seen in "The Brady Bunch Movie"), Susan Krebs, Loudon Wainwright III (last seen in "True Story"), Elizabeth Ruscio, with cameos from Elijah Kelley (last seen in "The Butler") and the band NRBQ.
RATING: 4 out of 10 group sessions