When a Man Loves a Woman
Msg Ryan best performance... Great movie.
WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN is a searing and emotional look at how alcoholism manages to leave a family in shreds and how they struggle to put themselves back together again. Meg Ryan, in the performance of her career, dominates the screen with her powerhouse portrayal of Alice, a wife, mother, and career woman whose secret drinking is slowly and methodically destroying her life. The film chronicles Alice's journey as she hits her bottom, enters rehab, finishes rehab, and then tries to resume the life she left before rehab and discovers it's not as simple as she thinks. Andy Garcia is equally solid as Michael, Alice's sensitive and loving husband who finds out what real powerlessness is as he watches Alice fall apart and is introduced to a new kind of powerlessness when Alice returns home with a new attitude and new friends she made during her recovery process. Lots of great films have been made over the years about alcoholism but what makes this one stand out is that it not only deals with the alcoholism and the rehabilitation process, but it more importantly shows what happens when the alcoholic tries to resume their old life, slowing coming to the realization that it is no longer their old life anymore because they now have to face it sober. It also approaches the subject from the angle of the alcoholic's loved ones as we see Garcia's Michael struggle with the new person Alice has become and finds his only outlet for his frustration in Al-Anon meetings, where he finally realizes he is not alone. Luis Madoki's sensitive direction is also an asset but this film works mainly thanks to a well-rounded screenplay and the sterling performances by Andy Garcia and especially Meg Ryan, in a performance that should have earned her an Oscar nomination. Don't miss this one.