Gwen is an alcoholic in denial whose latest bender with boozer boyfriend Jasper (Dominic West) ruins the wedding of her sister (Elizabeth Perkins) and lands her in a month-long rehab program with the requisite gang of struggling drunks and junkies. Steve Buscemi aptly conveys the weary commitment of a counselor who's seen it all. Certainly no surprises here--the warring sisters will reconcile, and at least one rehabber will fail to recover--but there's ample pleasure to be found in Bullock's finely tuned performance.
Gwen Cummings (Sandra Bullock), a successful N.Y. journalist and ultimate party girl, loves to have a good time! Trouble is, she never can tell when she's had enough. When she borrows her sister's (Elizabeth Perkins) wedding limo and plows it into someone's front porch, the wild life she shares with her boyfriend, Jasper (Dominic West), comes to a screeching halt. She earns herself a DUI and a 28-day stretch in rehab. There, she faces an unthinkable set of rules (no cell phones!) and some strange rituals, like chanting and (gulp!) sharing her feelings. Joining up with an eccentric group of fellow rehabbers led by the inimitable Counselor Cornell (Steve Buscemi), Gwen embarks on a touching and often hilarious road to recovery where she learns that life is not always a party and that real happiness comes from within.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 23:32:00
Downbeat, explicit coming-of-age drama about promising N.Y.C. Catholic schoolboy's growing addiction to heroin. Appreciated by drama fans who enjoy riveting, powerful character portraits and dark, disturbing subject matter.
Film adaptation of street tough Jim Carroll's epistle about his kaleidoscopic free fall into the harrowing world of drug addiction. As a member of a seemingly unbeatable high school basketball squad; Jim's life centers around the basketball court and the court becomes a metaphor for the world in his mind. A best friend who is dying of leukemia; a coach (Swifty") who takes unacceptable liberties with the boys on his team; teenage sexual angst; and an unhealthy appetite for heroin -- all of these begin to encroach on young Jim's dream of becoming a basketball star. Soon; the dark streets of New York become a refuge from his mother's mounting concern for her son. He can't go home and his only escape from the reality of the streets is heroin for which he steals; robs and prostitutes himself. Only with the help of Reggie; an older neighborhood friend with whom Jim "picked up a game" now and then; is he able to begin the long journey back to sanity."
Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 23:29:00
Vivid lead performance highlights this drama based on the life of Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson. Powerful story offers gritty but inspirational message to AA members, fans of character portraits.
A powerful, autobiographical story of an extraordinary friendship that developed into the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 23:26:00
Grim substance abuse drama about alcoholic in denial. A powerhouse experience for drama fans, due to its strong character development, acclaimed performances. Fans of Keaton may enjoy his unusual role.
After making his mark in several hit comedies including Beetlejuice, Michael Keaton startled critics and audiences alike with his acclaimed performance in this 1988 drama about one man's struggle against cocaine addiction. Keaton's comedic energy is transformed here into the kind of jittery intensity that's perfect for his role, suggesting a driven personality who can maintain the appearance of self-control for only so long before he crashes and burns. After a series of setbacks, Keaton's character seeks refuge in a drug rehabilitation program and must confront the truth of his own addiction at the urging of a counselor (Morgan Freeman) who's heard every lame excuse in the book from addicts struggling to quit. Kathy Baker leads a superb supporting cast as a recovering alcoholic and battered wife whose flagging self-esteem is boosted by Keaton's attention. Under the careful direction of Glenn Gordon Caron (of TV's Moonlighting fame), Keaton and Baker handle this delicate material with consummate skill and grace, turning a potentially depressing story into a moving portrait of people who must battle their inner demons step by tentative step. --Jeff Shannon
Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 14:36:00