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After getting into a car accident while drunk on the day of her sister's wedding, Gwen Cummings is given a choice between prison or a rehab center. She chooses rehab, but is extremely resistant to taking part in any of the treatment programs they have to offer, refusing to admit that she has an alcohol addiction. After getting to know some of the other patients, Gwen gradually begins to re-examine her life and see that she does, in fact, have a serious problem. The path to recovery will not be easy, and success will not be guaranteed or even likely, but she is now willing to give it a try. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Gwen is getting off the bus in the woods, she has no leg brace on. As the scene progresses, it is back on. See more »
Tonight's lecture: Are you a blackout drunk, or don't you remember?
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After the credits a scene is shown where a new patient is arriving at rehab. The new patient is the actor playing Falcon in the soap Santa Cruz which is the favorite of both Eddie Boone and Andrea. Eddie Boone asks Falcon for an autograph. See more »
Sandra Bullock goes off the wagon in this mixed up high camp romp through the scarier suburbs of Serenityville.
It's entertaining, it's weepy, it's funny, but mostly it's very, very confused, unsure whether it's supposed to be played for laughs or as a straight drama. The outright comedy trivialises the hellish experience of rehab, and while it would have been kinder to laugh with the characters that appear, you end up feeling you're laughing at them. Problem is - the things that are happening to them aren't actually all that funny.
Bullock is cute and has her trademark grace and charm, but somehow she seems like a caricature of herself, lacking the grittiness and edge of a real alcoholic. Her dark is always sugar frosted and brightly lit, and never the pitch black of a real suicidal drinker.
Alan Tudyk is outstanding as Gerhardt the gay German, and gets some of the best lines. Steve Buscemi has just the right air of seen-it-all-before detachment as the counsellor, and Dominic West plays the seductive rogue boyfriend with real style and conviction. The rest of the cast does a good job of holding things together, including a quirky and effective cameo from Loudon Wainwright III.
But while the writing and directing remain strong, they're also oddly unfocussed, and this pulls the movie down. Extreme heart warming moments follow on from extreme self-abusive nastiness, follow on from extreme camp humour. You're left spinning your wheels, unsure which direction the movie is going.
Ironically, the best part of the DVD release is the cameo appearance by the soap opera Santa Cruz. In the film itself the soap plays a bit part, when it should have been given a starring role all of its own. The DVD has a full sequence of Santa Cruz, and it's side splitting - easily the funniest part of the whole package.
Overall then, this is not one of Bullock's best movies. Worth watching on DVD just for Santa Cruz, and for some of the funny set pieces. But otherwise the film limps awkwardly between comedy and drama. Trying so hard to both well means it doesn't really manage to do either.
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