While movies like “The Hobbit,” and the poorly-rated “Playing for Keeps” got most of the attention last week for opening movies, “Smashed” was rarely mentioned, but is definitely a must-see.
In limited release, the film hit theaters in Tucson over the weekend, and definitely deserves bigger audiences and a lot more attention than it’s getting.
The movie stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who is a fairly unknown actress to me, and Aaron Paul, who plays Jesse in television’s hit series “Breaking Bad.”
Kate (Winstead) and Charlie (Paul) are a young married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of music, laughter and drinking...especially the drinking.
However, Kate starts seeing the error of her ways when the drinking starts taking her on a dangerous path, and one that is also jeopardizing her career as a first-grade teacher. Kate decides to go to AA meetings after waking up in strange places, and an embarrassing incident that pushes her to make up a big lie to her class and colleagues.
Kate gains more courage to get help through the support of the school’s assistance principal, which also evolves into a somewhat inappropriate relationship.
As Kate embraces the lessons of AA and pushes herself to become sober, she starts dealing with the realities of life with her mother, and with her husband, Charlie, who is still drinking.
The dynamic that made their love strong seems to have been through alcohol, and it’s a reality that Kate struggles with through the process of trying to get and stay sober.
Winstead turns in a great performance as Kate, and Paul proves he has talent on the big screen just as much as he does in television.
While it may not be getting a lot of attention, “Smashed” is one to go see if you are looking for something with depth and promise.
Running one hour, 25 minutes, “Smashed” is not lighthearted and with only a few comical moments, for the most part sticks to the seriousness of alcoholism, co-dependency and the struggles of sobriety.