PAPER COVERS ROCK tells the story of Sam, a troubled young woman who loses custody of her six year-old daughter in the wake of an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Following a brief stay at a psychiatric facility, Sam moves in with her older sister Ed, who graciously offers to help Sam piece her life back together. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and it's not at all clear whether Ed is out to save or destroy her little sister. Written by
A young woman battling depression and a toxic sister
'Paper Covers Rock' tells the story of Sam who is struggling to recover from a depression that led to a failed suicide attempt and a brief stay in a mental facility. She moves in with her bossy older sister, Ed, after her release, hoping to get some control of her life before regaining custody of her young daughter, who now lives with her ex-husband. After obtaining a cleaning job at Ed's office, Sam visits her therapist and secures some other small successes that gradually bolster her self-esteem - but unfortunately, even as she struggles to rebuild her life brick by brick, Ed's controlling tendencies begin to undermine the foundations. The older sister's toxic influence is fully exposed when a young executive at her office asks Sam out for dinner. Ed discovers his identity and then sabotages the budding romance. Her sister's betrayal leads Sam to resume her self-destructive behaviors - and all too soon she is being assaulted by waves of hopelessness once again.
The film is graced with excellent performances from its cast and an intelligent script. The only drawback is the arc of Sam's character and story. No doubt it is realistic enough, but it is compromised as drama. When Sam's fragile equilibrium melts away, she appears to surrender to her demons a little too easily - leading one to suspect that she is most comfortable with the role of victim.
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