- Super Crispy Entertainment
- Front Porch Films
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Opened: 10/12/2012 Limited
|Angelika/NYC||10/12/2012 - 11/01/2012||21 days|
|Lincoln Plaza||10/12/2012 - 10/25/2012||14 days|
|The Landmark||10/12/2012 - 10/25/2012||14 days|
|Playhouse 7||10/19/2012 - 11/01/2012||14 days|
|AMC Empire 25||10/19/2012 - 10/25/2012||7 days|
|Town Center 5||10/19/2012 - 10/25/2012||7 days|
|Kendall Square...||10/26/2012 - 11/01/2012||7 days|
|Fallbrook 7||10/26/2012 - 11/01/2012||7 days|
|Village East||11/02/2012 - 11/15/2012||14 days|
Trailer: Click for trailer
Rated: R for alcohol abuse, language, some sexual content and brief drug use.
Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) are a young married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of music, laughter and drinking...especially the drinking. When Kate's drinking leads her to dangerous places and her job as an elementary school teacher is put into jeopardy, she decides to join AA and get sober. Sobriety isn't as easy as Kate had anticipated. She realizes she must face a difficult past, including a troubled relationship with her mother, (Mary Kay Place) a party girl in her own right. To cover up a drinking related incident which takes place in the classroom, Kate fabricates a story to her employer, the school principal, Patricia Barnes (Megan Mullally), who is overly nurturing and perhaps nosy. This lie soon balloons out of control and Kate is faced with many important choices she must make.
Charlie, a music writer, whose care-free demeanor hasn't changed much since college, struggles to be supportive of Kate's new lifestyle. However, he doesn't quite grasp why she thinks she has a problem and loves her very much the way that she is, drunk and fun. His own juvenile tendencies are threatened by Kate's teetotaling and when the party is taken out of the relationship both Kate and Charlie question if their marriage is built on love or is just boozy diversion from adulthood.
Kate finds new friendships through AA. One with her supportive sponsor Jenny (Octavia Spencer) and another with the vice principal at her school, Dave Davies (Nick Offerman). Davies, who at first comes off as well-meaning, though awkward and a bit nerdy, has a bizarre history of his own that led him to a life of recovery. Even with the support of AA and new friends like Jenny and Mr. Davies, Kate still feels very alone during the delicate and often scary early days of sobriety. Without Charlie's support, their marriage suffers more, and both Kate and Charlie push each other away.
SMASHED began as a conversation between my co-writer, Susan Burke, and me. In addition to being a very funny person and talented writer, Susan is the owner of some of the most simultaneously upsetting and hilarious stories I've ever heard about dumb things she did while she was drunk.
It's no coincidence that Susan is now sober. Like a lot of the people closest to me who've had issues with substance abuse, Susan also knows a secret: Being drunk can be really fun. It's just all the other things that come with being drunk that can be a downer (wrecking cars, lives, etc.).
But SMASHED isn't primarily about alcohol or alcoholics. SMASHED is a film about fidelity -- and what it means to be committed to someone, to love someone, and to need to change your life...when your partner isn't capable of change.
So many films that deal with substance abuse follow a familiar "scared straight" path, depicting characters so damaged that they're not relatable, leaving the audience with nothing to do but gawk at their otherness.
SMASHED is a love story -- between the main characters, Kate and Charlie, but also hopefully between the audience and the characters. I certainly adore Kate and Charlie. They're flawed and misguided, and maybe they only work as a couple when they're falling-down drunk, but I was committed to making a film in which the alcoholics appear light-hearted and are fun to hang out with (perhaps your personal perspective on whether they make a good couple will depend upon your own history of relationships with addicts).
SMASHED also is a coming of age story for Kate -- except she's closer to 30 than 20, so I suppose it's an adult coming of age story. But for a lot of my friends, adulthood seems to be more and more distant (Have kids? Eh...maybe at 40. Regular job? Eh...maybe after I have kids.).
I'm not sure if people can really, fundamentally change (and I guess that's more a conversation for stoned college students), but I do know that films about people with problems attempting to change their lives -- even if they're unsuccessful or perhaps delusional -- are some of my favorite stories. I love watching people try and fail. And try again. And fail worse. There's something special and heroic and so, so human about seeing someone attempt to conquer her demons and fix her life (even if she's isn't necessarily imbued with the wisdom or common sense to have any clue how her life should be fixed).
In SMASHED, the demons happen to be alcohol, but really that's just part of the characters' circumstance, like their age or where they live (late-20's and Highland Park, in northeast Los Angeles). Part of becoming an adult means learning to stop blaming your personal history, or genetic make-up, or your partner for your problems. To be able to look at yourself in the mirror and -- without a single pill or drop of alcohol -- be able to say: "I love myself," or "I like myself," or at least, "I don't want to kill myself," seems like a pretty decent first step before entering an adult relationship.
SMASHED is a story about a young woman taking that first step, stumbling a bit -- and seeing if her husband can join her on the journey.
-- James Ponsoldt, Writer/Director