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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