Smashed

First Hit:  For my money, this was one of the better films depicting the struggle to lose an alcoholic addiction.

Kate and Charlie Hannah (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul respectively) are a good time couple. They go to the bar, play pool and drink every night. They love each other but it is all through the haze of alcohol.

Kate is an animated school teacher teaching young kids. One day because of her excess the night before she throws up while teaching class. To cover the incident she tells the school and class that she is pregnant.

This lie, of course, will be uncovered in the end. Kate decides to get sober and her teaching peer Dave Davies (played by Nick Offerman) and her AA sponsor Jenny (played by Octavia Spencer) give her the support and drive to get there. When she and Charlie go visit her Kate’s mother Rochelle (played by Mary Kay Place), we see the history of her illness.

How alcoholism is represented in this film is excellent and the audience is given insight to what can happen.

Winstead is outstanding and give a truly strong performance. Paul is very good as the husband who loves his wife, but loves drinking as well. Offerman gives a great performance of the friend who also breaks the AA rules and has to look at himself as well. Place is very good as the enabling mother. Spencer is wonderful as Kate’s sponsor. James Ponsoldt and Susan Burke wrote a very strong script. Ponsoldt did a wonderful job of directing this film with realism and sensitivity.

Overall: A well-acted film.