I first saw this movie in the theater when it came out. I remember feeling frustrated. I watched it again last night on satellite and decided this really is a great movie, but it is hard to watch. It is a very real love story, but don't confuse that as meaning it is a typical romantic story.
Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia play a couple definitely in love, but struggling with their relationship after Meg Ryan's character comes back from detox. Instead of being cured, she is confused and they realize there is a wedge that comes from an experience they can't share. She has AA friends that her husband can't relate to, but she needs someone who can understand and her husband isn't it.
One mark of great writing is when the characters are not saintly or demonic, but shades of grey. Andy Garcia's character is a really nice guy, but he's not saintly. He resorts to sarcasm out of his frustration in not being able to help his wife. Of course, she doesn't want his help, she wants his understanding. She is basically a good person, but she can't sort through her feelings and ends up being unknowingly cruel to her husband.
After one scene, my wife stated, "Now HE frustrated me". I said, "I was frustrated too, but BY HER". This movie really pegs male and female relationships.
Superbly written, superbly acted. It hurts to watch it, but a movie that can evoke real emotion and not pander to the audience with contrived plot lines is a great movie. THIS is a great movie.
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