Dear Family, please smile at me

ISB SS Shower

Growing up, falling in love, marry, get children and then manage your life and that of others, too. Nobody ever said that it will be easy and – unfortunately – nobody is ever able to tell you what to expect and how you may be able to cope with. Why? Because we don’t get a handbook and we are all different and that is part of our daily life.

In this case – it is the story of a beautiful, intelligent wife, who lives with her husband and her two kids in a house, somewhere in a suburban area. In the first few moments we see happy family, a small school and a nice neighbourhood and everything seems to be fine.

Wouldn’t that be nice? It could be so easy – right after she brought her kids to the school we catch her cheating her husband. In nearly every moment that follows we see her holding a glass of wine and sometimes it is even a stronger kind of alcohol. In those times between glasses we see her sneaking into the bathroom and taking drugs. The picture of the happy family is destroyed soon afterwards and one evening while all the other family members were sleeping she has a complete breakdown and is going into rehab.

From that moment on everything focusses on her character even more and how she changes (or not) throughout the movie – the rest of the cast becomes more or less invisible and I blame the script for that. Blaming because they are interesting and mandatory for the story to come alive – more intense interaction with the family (or for a longer period of time) would have made a film that would have worked in total, but I’m getting ahead of myself.


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During the whole movie Sarah Silverman shows what she is capable of, she plays the character of the woman, wife, mother, daughter and lover (especially by cheating her husband) with intense character play, with emotion and fortunately less drama. Within her acting we do get the feeling of a real person, a character that could be your neighbour or your best friend or family member. We’ve all been there, in a situation where we were not happy and got kinda lost with the stress and all the obstacles that life gave us. Here we see a character who has it all and is lost because of many different reasons – the luxury problems in specific. She feels empty, that there must be more to life than this. During her therapy, her rehab session we learn of Daddy issues and we even get to meet the guy later in the movie. Her talk with her father is the best example that the writers forgot something – it was completely out of context, she appears without warning on the doorstep of her father and the dialogue itself is short, far too short and then she is gone away and doesn’t even mention this meeting to her husband. During the scene with her father we got some scenes between real persons and some scenes – where we see the dollhouse of his other daughter with some dolls that were arranged like a romantically perfect family – the director shows us what he is capable of. There is also one in the end where I had to hold my breath – but go for yourself – I do not want to spoil that!

Apparently I didn’t read the book but the movie feels like the typical adaption where the writers and producers wanted to put as much as possible from the book into the movie. This way the audience doesn’t get the chance of feeling close to the characters – the reason I kept watching it was the acting of Sarah Silverman. In some scenes she even gave me the creeps, she played the loving caring mother in one scene and the lost drug-addict in another and you never got the feeling that those are different persons. This is one person who doesn’t manage to live the life she has.

Do I recommend this movie? In case you want to see a woman struggling with her life, played enormously well by an actress who is amazing then go for it. Give it a chance, it will be at least entertaining for you.

I Smile Back



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