I Smile Back (2015)

ADAM SALKY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

USA, 2015, .  Screenplay by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Toronto International Film Festival 2015Washington Film Critics Awards 2015.

 tries to be a good wife to her successful husband () but bad habits are hard to break. She can manage dropping her children off at school, but then it’s off to snort cocaine and have rough sex with her husband’s friend, then some drinking and a few more pills. When Charles clues into the fact that she has gone off her mood meds and has fallen back into addiction, he drops her off at the nearest rehab centre and then, when she’s out, hopes all is right as rain, but it only takes a trip to meet her emotionally distant dad (a wonderful Chris Sarandon) and his new family to threaten Silverman’s balance. Every cliché of Woman Under The Influence movies is telegraphed miles in advance and does a great disservice to Silverman, who is committed to the reality of this character but undone by dull writing and direction. Her being famous for comedy does not mean the film needs to be humorless to prove that she’s a dramatic actress; if anything, Silverman’s shrewd observations of human existence that she puts into her stand-up work could only make her character’s downward spiral more effective. With the availability of better options like Cassavetes, Nurse Jackie or even Only When I Laugh, there’s no need to bother with this one.

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