Release Date: October 12, 2012
Starring: ** Wobbly Recovery **
Runtime: 85 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: James Ponsoldt
Executive Producer: Audrey Wilf, Zygi Wilf
Producer: Jennifer Cochis, Jonathan
Schwartz, Andrea Sperling
Writer: James Ponsoldt, Susan Burke
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard, Co-Presidents
Sony Pictures Classics (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com; Email: Sony_Classics@spe.sony.com
The movie opens with Kate, a young married teacher, coming to school with a hangover and getting sick in front of her elementary students. One young student innocently asks her if she’s pregnant. Kate lies and replies yes she is.
Despite the incident, Kate keeps going out drinking with her husband. One night she gives a ride to a woman outside a bar. The woman seduces Kate into smoking crack. The next morning, Kate finds herself lying in an alley next to a warehouse in a decrepit part of town. When this happens a second time, Kate decides to start attending a fellow teacher’s AA recovery classes.
As a result of the classes, Kate becomes sober. However, at her school, her students and the principal keep pushing her about her pregnancy. The principal even organizes a surprise baby shower. If she tells the truth, she could lose her job. If she lies again, and the principal finds out, she could also lose her job. If she doesn’t tell the truth, however, it may endanger her recovery. Meanwhile, her alcoholic husband tries to deal with a sober Kate even though he refuses to quit drinking himself.
SMASHED presents a compelling character study of an average young woman trying to overcome her alcohol addiction. Mary Elizabeth Winstead does an excellent job of being sympathetic but troubled, both at the same time. While the movie presents some of its scenarios of alcohol abuse in a darkly funny way, it ultimately takes alcohol addiction and the battle to overcome it quite seriously. Its strong supporting cast helps elevate this touching tale. However, there’s plenty of strong foul language, brief sexual content, and no references to the female protagonist asking help from God to overcome her addiction. Thus, SMASHED doesn’t have quite the redemptive punch of another recent movie about alcohol addiction, the movie FLIGHT starring Denzel Washington. That said, it might actually be more helpful because it’s a more realistic portrayal of the everyday struggles the average alcoholic goes through on the road to their recovery.
SMASHED presents a compelling character study of an average young woman trying to overcome her alcohol addiction. Mary Elizabeth Winstead does an excellent job of being sympathetic but troubled at the same time. However, there’s plenty of strong foul language, brief sexual content, and no references to asking help from God. Thus, extreme caution is advised, despite the movie’s uplifting view of recovery.