1 August 1999 | bjudd
A Highly Underrated Film
When first renting this film, I expected to see a typical love story. I found, instead, a film that truly attempted to accurately display what happens in relationships where one member has a drinking problem. It is powerful and shows the true pain and confusing that often looms over these situations. Rather than sending Alex to detox and having her come home happy, she came home very confused about life and what she was doing. This is one of the many ways this film reflects true life. My only qualm is the ending. Rather than keeping true to the story, the filmmakers seemed to give up and ended it on a happy, superficial note. Despite this letdown, I love this film and everything it tries to communicate.
Meg Ryan's performance is one of the underrated of the decade. She should have received on Oscar nomination for it and was certainly better than Jessica Lange that year. I have read a few comments here saying she did a terrible job. I would ask these people to define what a good performance is to them. Not only did Ryan communicate every possible feeling that a woman in Alex's situation could have, she did it with style and ease. Not only that, but made a dramatic move with this film from her already great performances in romantic comedy. Ryan should be applauded for taking such a huge risk and having it pay off.
Andy Garcia also has a tremendous performance in this film. He too displays very complex emotions of a faulted man with skill.
The one aspect of this film that I love so much is how no character is faultless in the whole situation. All members have contributed to the problem, and all must face up to what they did and try to improve what they have. I don't know if this makes much sense (I feel my thoughts are jumbled). In one simple statement: SEE THIS MOVIE. THE TITLE DOES NOT ACCURATELY DISPLAY THE MOVIE IT TRULY IS. The title makes it sound like another sappy love story. What the viewer gets is a tremendous study of the damage alcoholism can bring to a family.