I really, really love this movie. So ok, yeah, we've all seen movies about addiction, particularly alcoholism, but still, this one was quite entertaining and not something one would expect.
It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate Hannah, a grade school teacher who tells a lie to everybody that she's pregnant after she unexpectedly vomits in front of her students. It turns out that she had gotten drunk the night before with her husband Charlie, played by Aaron Paul. Though she probably was a bit drunk before and after she showed up for work. You see a quick glimpse of her taking a swig off of a beer while in the shower. After she pulls into the parking lot at school, she takes yet, another swig from a flask.
After a drunken night at a bar where she sings karaoke, she kind of offers a young women a ride home. I say kind of because she tells her she was offering to call her a cab and not necessarily a ride, but anyway... During the trip the other woman pulls out a crack pipe and offers her a hit. At first, after Kate pulls over to the side, she is reluctant to even consider trying it, but as we all know, peer pressure can really be a bitch. So after Kate takes a drag, we CUT TO outside somewhere where we see Kate's eyes wider and more alive than they should be. She goes on and on at a lightspeed pace about McDonalds and cheeseburgers. I only bring this up because in this scene, Mary's performance really scared me. She was all over the place. It's safe to assume that after she wakes up alone on an abandoned couch, that she must of crashed hard the night before. It's finally at this spot though that we are finally treated to the title of the movie.
After a hilarious sex scene with her husband, Kate decides to go out to get some more alcohol. Unfortunately, well for her anyway, the mini-mart she visits doesn't allow the selling of alcoholic beverages after 2 a.m. After trying to convince the cashier and another customer to sell her the liquor and peeing on the floor from having a weak bladder, she runs out of the store with one of the bottles. We then CUT TO outside again, by a stream of water where we see Kate awakening and having no idea where she is. It's at this point that Kate tells her husband that she thinks she has a problem and decides to get help.
Nick Offerman, who plays Dave Davies a co-worker of hers at school, suggests going to an AA meeting with him. She agrees and it is there at her first meeting that we're and she's introduced to Jenny, played by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) who becomes her sponsor. On a side note, if you can, get a version of the movie with bonus features and keep an eye out for the full-length version of Arlo's (Richmond Arquette) speech about his dog in the deleted scenes. Laughed, my b---s off!
As anyone knows who has dealt with addiction, it's never an easy road. The more she tries to get sober, the more she becomes conflicted with her husband Charlie. Alcoholism can put a strain on relationships, but then again, so can sobriety I guess. And after she confesses to Principal Barnes (Megan Mullally) that she's not actually pregnant and has been going to AA meetings is where everything seems to fall apart. Kate goes to the nearest bar, gets drunk, has to be driven home by Dave and her sponsor Jenny and to top it off, her and her husband really get into an argument that always scares me how effective it was shot and performed by the actors.
I've always thought that Mary was a very fine actor, but I think people really need to see this to know how good she really is. I really hope she gets offered other great roles, like this, in the future. Well, not exactly like this, but just really great roles is what I mean.