When do you know that your drinking is out of control? When you projectile vomit in front of a class of six-year-olds? When you end a night smoking crack with some homeless guys? That probably gives the wrong impression of this low-key, truthful American indie about a hard-drinking couple whose marriage falls apart when one of them gets sober.
Married straight out of college, Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul), live in LA. She’s a primary school teacher, he’s a music journalist. And like pretty much every other couple in their twenties, they drink. A lot. But when embarrassing-drunk gets scary-drunk – the vomiting and crack – Kate decides to get sober. Charlie reckons they should cut down, become wine-with-dinner people. But she joins AA (‘Assholes Anonymous’ he calls it) and their problems start. Road-to-recovery movies are usually paved with clichés. Not this one. ‘Smashed’ has the texture of life. Everyone knows couples like Kate and Charlie. And Mary Elizabeth Winstead – wow. She gives a career-making performance.