When a Man Loves a Woman
Time Out saysRyan excels as Alice Green, teacher and mother of two young children, whose apparently idyllic marriage cracks open to reveal a dependence on drink. The emphasis here, though, is neither on Alice's drinking and (self-)deception, nor on the gruelling drying-out period, but on the guilt, confusion and disruption provoked by her return to the dysfunctional family unit that caused her breakdown and which must now adjust to accommodate a wife/mother who is not only sober but irrevocably changed. Having spent much of her marriage rummaging in the laundry cupboard for vodka, Alice now starts to delve into her past for the missing pieces of an unfulfilled life. Ryan, with her trademark sobbing to the fore, gives a showier performance than Garcia, who nevertheless impresses as the husband unable to cope with Alice's growing self-confidence. Mandoki transforms what might have been a familiar story of personal redemption into a coruscating dissection of a marriage built on shifting sand.