Moore's scenes with a miscast-but-game Harrelson offer a study in how spouses learn to handle even their partners' most destructive impulses, but in most other moments, Anderson fails to get beyond the surface of her characters' lives.
No one expects documentary realism in these memoir-to-movie transfers. It's reasonable, however, to expect more vibrant and expressive fictionalized treatment than this.
Lisa SchwarzbaumEntertainment Weekly
Anderson's adaptation is heavy on production numbers in which jingles come to life and light on conveying any real feelings of Eisenhower-era darkness the prizewinner herself might have felt during her decades of marriage to an abusive, drunken man.
There's something terminally small about this big-screen melodrama, with its trite characterizations of fighting parents, empty pockets and kind hearts.