Clean and Sober
Time Out saysA film about addiction and redemption which avoids the usual sensationalism. Daryl Poynter (Keaton) doesn't realise how bad he is until he wakes up to find his date dead of an overdose in bed beside him, and embezzlement charges brewing up at his real estate firm. Drink and drugs have eroded all sense of responsibility, and rather than face the music, he takes refuge in a chemical dependency centre without any intention of toeing the line. It takes some tough talk from the councillor (Freeman, excellent) and the shock of enforced abstinence to shape him up. A supportive romance with fellow inmate Charlie (Kathy Baker) nose-dives abruptly, and his rehabilitation is ultimately down to character. The film doesn't cheat at all - Keaton's Poynter is a dislikeable proposition, always ready with a contemptuous crack, his pzazz verging on panic. The cold turkey sequence is devoid of Elmer Bernstein's brass, and the end is no more dramatic than an admission of answerability. A level look at a common problem.