I Smile Back | Chicago Reader

I Smile Back

Rated R 85 minutes 2015

A scorching performance from Sarah Silverman anchors this painful drama of addiction and defeat. Her character, a middle-class wife and mother, is off her meds, off the wagon, and beyond the help of her caring husband (Josh Charles, also great). She humorously dotes on her daughter and two sons, but when they're tucked away in school she sleeps with one of the neighbors and vacuums up cocaine (not since Debra Granik's Down to the Bone has an indie drama dealt as wrenchingly with parenthood and drug abuse). Silverman completely drops her sweet/snarky comic persona, tapping into the character's tenderness, simmering rage, and despair. The movie's abrupt ending will strike some as daring and others as disappointing; count me among the latter, though Silverman is so good I wish it weren't so. Adam Salky directed a screenplay by first-timers Paige Dylan and Amy Koppelman.

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I Smile Back

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