Normally Meg Ryan is in those annoying fluffy films playing her annoying fluffy character whose one vice is eating too many corn chips or watching too many romantic movies. Here, however, is a film that does show case her considerable acting talent, and her vices are slamming down a bottle of vodka before ten in the morning, slapping her kid around, hoarding prescription pills and harrassing the neighbours. This is an unexpected gem. I also have very personal reasons for loving this film, having watched it with a friend and having to miss the last five minutes to catch a train, then going to watch it all over again on the Champs Elysees in Paris just for the ending, and then watching the other night when it was screened late on tv, in that hour where they bung in movies they don't know what to do with, and was reminded of how good it is. It is the strength of characterisation that works so well, esp the two girls. The hurt of the elder girl when she says that she just wanted to tell her mum she'd done her homework is brilliantly conveyed. That smarting sense of injustice and incomprehension regarding the adult world and its hypocrises gets me every time. Andy Garcia bloody gorgeous too.