New York based writer Gwen Cummings knows that she drinks a lot but doesn't believe it's a problem, and if she decides that it is an issue that she could stop drinking on her own. She and her live-in boyfriend Jasper fuel each other's hyperactivity with this excessive alcohol consumption, "a normal life" is not in either's vocabulary. Between Gwen and her older straight-laced sister Lily, Gwen more closely resembles their larger than life mother, who was also an alcoholic and who died because of that when they were children. Lily believes that Gwen's addictions makes her a difficult if not impossible person to love. While Gwen is in a drunken stupor at Lily's wedding, Gwen causes one issue after another, ruining the day for Lily. Gwen is forced to examine her drinking with the culmination of bad events she caused at the wedding, leading to her being court ordered to enter into rehab or jail for twenty-eight days, which is only marginally more tolerable an idea to her than the ...Written by
Most of the artwork in the background of the Parker House group sessions was done by real rehab patients. See more »
In the scene where they go into the drugstore and Eddie asks for the key to the men's room, his sleeves go from being down, but when he puts his arms on the counter his sleeves are rolled up. See more »
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 »
TV version changes Gerhardt's greatest wish. In the original it is to have his foreskin back, this is changed to wishing for an 'Abba (I)' box set. See more »
There is a a very important message at the heart of this Betty Thomas film: Self Control from Indulgent excesses. The problem: the film itself tipsily overindulges its themes by balancing good drama with over-acting and imbalanced doses of comedy.
In a sense, the film knew it was dealing with touchy subject matter when it highlighted the realities of rehab in NY, but why did it need to purposefully throw in the stereotypical comedic archetypes - the viking accented Alan Tursdysk, or O'Malley's strapdown one liners, or for that matter, the debonair English accented intelligent metro lover in Dom West? Perhaps it was in 2000, and you needed to sell films that way to appeal to their target audience of teenagers who did weed and drank too much, but the fact is, when you have Steve Buscemi, Sandra Bullock and Viggo Mortensen in a film you can afford to push the drama-reality envelope and go in that direction.
In fact, the film's best moments are when Thomas does this- in a series of flashbacks to let the audience get in sync and depth with Bullock's character. And, there are scenes where the comedy can be done appropriately and in concordance with the film's thematic content- such as the skit at the end for Azura Skye's character. Sadly, these good moves are coupled with some really tipsy flaws, including the ending where Mortensen's character meets the soap star. Bullock's character also undergoes way too quick a character change (for 28 days) if one was to really nitpick.
However, the themes in this film make this a film i would still recommend to youth and young people. Azura Skye's character's loneliness, depression and suicide are genuinely depicted, and the fragile and important message of hope and redemption amid the perfunctory nature of life in the rehab centre that are celebrated in the plot really help this film regain its footing. When Bullock's character realises that this (the pills and drugs) was not a way to live, and Mortensen addresses her insecurities of not being able to do a single thing right, the film touches significant depths and strikes the chords of viewers. My personal favourite was the scene were Lizzy Perkins' character acknowledges the flaws of hers and her sister's lives and establishes love and hope in reconciliation. You see, it is the film's ability to reach such levels that I know this film suffered from tipsily overindulging its themes-trying to tie in too much to everyone- from being a comedy to a drama.
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