DVD Review - Smashed

Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as Kate Hannah, a first-grade school teacher who is an alcoholic. The movie follows how she comes to realize that she has a problem, her attempts to get help and then eventually her hitting rock bottom, which includes the destruction of her marriage to writer and music critic Charlie Hannah, played by Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad and Big Love).

Director and co-writer James Ponsoldt creates an interesting hook that gets the audience into this teacher's dilemma and he then hits a lot of required and predictable moments that one expects in a movie about an alcoholic, but, beyond that, the film is rather hollow. Ponsoldt just doesn't fill this story with the kind of weight that Ryan Fleck did for Half Nelson (2006).

The specific, fight scenes between Winstead and Paul don't feel authentic or cohesive or well-written. They almost feel improvised and not in the good way. The only time I liked the two of them together was when they were separated. The two have a conversation after practically ending their characters' marriage and what they do in that scene together felt more genuine than anything else they do.

There's a couple of funny moments with Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) who plays a fellow grade school teacther, but other than that, there's not much here. The first 13 minutes are well done, but it descends in terms of my interest.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated R for alcohol abuse, drug use, language and some sexual content.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 20 mins.


Popular Posts