6.7/10
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12 user 2 critic

When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story (2010)

Based on the true story of the enduring but troubled love between Lois Wilson, co-founder of Al-Anon, and her alcoholic husband Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Director:

John Kent Harrison
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Winona Ryder ... Lois Wilson
Barry Pepper ... Bill Wilson
John Bourgeois ... Dr. Clark Burnham
Rosemary Dunsmore ... Matilda Burnham
Paul Popowich ... Rogers Burnham
Adam Greydon Reid ... Ebby Thatcher
Ellen Dubin ... Dora
Sarah Manninen ... Elise Shaw
Sarah Dodd ... Sue
Lynne Griffin ... Annie Smith
Collette Micks ... Irene
Kristi Angus ... Anne Bingham
Frank Moore ... Dr. Bob
Peter Windrem Peter Windrem ... Charlie
James Downing ... Wes
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Storyline

Based on the true story of the enduring but troubled love between Lois Wilson, co-founder of Al-Anon, and her alcoholic husband Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The epic story of devotion, recovery and hope

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Lois Wilson: You disgust me! Anyone stupid enough to trust you is betrayed, again and again!
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Connections

Referenced in Biography: Winona Ryder (2008) See more »

User Reviews

Very good
7 May 2010 | by vchimpanzeeSee all my reviews

At the beginning of this fact-based Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation about the couple who helped start Alcoholics Anonymous, Lois and Bill Wilson get married in 1918 before he goes off to serve in World War I.

After the war, Bill returns home and works on Wall Street. Lois, whose father is a doctor, works as a nurse with the mentally ill.

Bill realizes that it would be helpful for investors to know about the companies they invest in, so he starts analyzing the companies, something not done much in the past. This involves lots of travel, including a motorcycle trip with Lois that involves comic misadventures.

The work is stressful but eventually rewarding. Bill copes with the stress by drinking. He and his friends often get together and drink. Never mind Prohibition. Everyone in this movie finds a way.

Bill gets abusive when he drinks, but he keeps promising he will stop. And then he eventually starts again and the problems continue.

Lois gets pregnant but can never carry a baby to term. Perhaps this is all for the best since it wouldn't be a good idea to bring up a child in a home where the father behaves the way Bill sometimes does. One of the couple's friends admits this when the couple tries to adopt.

The Depression eventually puts an end to the prosperity the Wilsons and so many others have experienced. Bill finds this a reason to drink, but sooner or later he will have to stop one way or another.

This movie does a good job of showing how hard it is to stop drinking and to keep from starting again, and shows how it is possible for people with a common problem to support each other.

Winona Ryder and Barry Pepper both do a very good job. I expect Ryder to be nominated for some award.

I enjoyed the music. During the 1920s, there is a lot of music which one could dance the Charleston to, but there are also other enjoyable styles of music from that era. One song included a fiddle and several other instruments.

I wouldn't recommend this to young children because the subject matter is quite adult, but this is still a family movie in a sense and doesn't really include offensive content. So much of the movie is depressing and hard to watch, but there is plenty of positive content too.

It's a worthy effort.


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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 April 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story (#59.3) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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