|When a Man Loves a Woman
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Can garcia help his wife in her moving struggle to overcome alcoholism? Studio: Buena Vista Home Video Release Date: 05/06/2003 Starring: Andy Garcia Meg Ryan Run time: 126 minutes Rating: R Director: Luis Mandoki
When a Man Loves a Woman is a dumb title (not another classic pop song, please) for a very smart movie. A kind of gender-switch take on The Lost Weekend, it's about a woman (Meg Ryan) whose alcoholism almost destroys her family. That may sound like just another TV movie, but When a Man Loves a Woman is so authentic in detail and emotion, that everything about it seems fresh, urgent, and engrossing. That's because the film is grounded in the actual experience of co-writer Al Franken (assisted by Rain Man scripter Ronald Bass). Franken is best known for his affiliation with Saturday Night Live and Politically Incorrect, and as the author of Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, and Other Observations. You may recall that Franken is the creator of Stuart Smalley, 12-step programmer extraordinaire. Well, if you want to know how Stuart was born, you can start here. This is no comedy, however. In fact, one of the most painful realizations comes when attractive, "good-time girl" Alice Green (Ryan) and her husband (Andy Garcia) begin to realize how much of a role alcohol played in their marriage and in bringing them together in the first place. The issues and experiences confronted in this movie go far beyond the stuff you see on Oprah. --Jim Emerson
- Bring your hankies!
I must admit that the first time I saw this movie in the theater many years ago, I wasn't very impressed. However, years later, watching it again on video (before DVDs!), I bawled my eyes out. It was very romantic and a very non-traditional role for Meg Ryan. Kudos!...more info
- Not my cuppa tea.
Not a totally off-the-mark depiction of the effects of alcoholism on families, but over-the-top acting and embarrassingly bad dialogue here and there, especially at the end. And it's a little unbelievable to see Meg Ryan having turned from sweet-and-perky-but-screwed-up, pre-rehab, to "Don't 'f' with me" street-tuff, post-rehab. Best thing about this semi-soap, from my female perspective, is gazing at the always easy-on-the-eye Andy Garcia. MUCH better movies about addiction and recovery: Drunks (Richard Lewis), Jesus' Son (Billy Crudup), Clean and Sober (Michael Keaton) and the excellent, early-60's "Days of Wine and Roses" (Jack Lemmon), if you can wince through Mancini's syrupy-yucky title track. (But it won the Oscar for best song, so what do I know. Different times, I guess.) ...more info
- Worthwhile and Realistic
Story about a school worker wife and pilot husband with 2 children. Wife is an out of control alcoholic. Very realistically played out. Brought out some little know realities .. Like how the person feels when their husband/wife recovers. I disagree that this is only for people who have been exposed to alcoholism. It wakes you up to the seriousness of the problem but is not boring or "heavy handed" It is a good movie in it's own right.
Andy Garcia is excellent, I just love him. Not only is he is so good looking and so sexy but he IS a good actor. Meg Ryan does a pretty good job but with her I never quite forget that she is acting, it's not natural ... whereas with Garcia it is sooo natural in every movie he does. I thought the scenes in Mexico and the rehab center, and in their house were particularly good.
Definitely worth watching if you feel like a movie that makes you think....more info
- Alcholism and Love
I use this movie as a homework project for my college Abnormal Psychology students to help them learn how to diagnose alcholism (by documenting the symptoms protrayed) and see its devastating effects on people which it demonstrates with remarkable clarity and sobering impact. It also gives a decent glimpse into where the disorder comes from (eiology) and its treatment, but not near as clearly.
Of course, I love Meg Ryan in any movie, but here she plays her part well, as does Andy Garcia who shows both the healthy side of love and its unhealthy side when it rears its head as codependent enabling. Yes, such spouses are to be commended for "hanging in there" no matter what, but love alone is simply not enough. For you also have to deal with conflict to have a successful marriage. So the only area that I would have changed would be to show how Alice's (Meg's) new assertiveness can come together with their love to resolve their issues, and for Michael (Andy) to be able to love her while accepting her new strength without needing to always rescue and do things for her.
But in contrast to so many other movies who show everything magically coming together within one therapy session or "aha" insight, "When A Man" avoids the usual Hollywood fantasy to show a more realistic picture. For real change does take time and working through so very much. So all in all, this is an excellent, superb movie even if you don't have to write a case report on a mental disorder....more info
- Sorry, thumbs down from me
Sorry to go against the grain here, but I really didn't care for this movie. My main problem is with Meg Ryan's character. She just isn't a very likeable person. She drinks, slaps her kids, drives drunk with her kids in the car, completely forgets about her kids while she's out on drinking binges...and we're supposed to feel empathy with this character?
And then, when the couple breaks up, guess who gets custody of the kids? Mom the alcoholic! How's that for a little bit of reverse sexism for you? Sorry, but this movie did very little for me....more info
- Heart-breakingly realistic - this is what love is all about!
I love this movie! Every time I watch it I feel so many more emotions than the time before. Watching it with someone you care about makes the movie even more realistic and heartbreaking. I watched it again recently and by the end both my boyfriend and I were crying. Their relationship was so real it made us open up to each other more than ever before....more info
- words can't describe it
this movie hit me hard. if you know anyone that is an alcoholic, it will probably touch the same spot inside you that it touched in me. meg ryan's character was completely believable & andy garcia (one of my favorites) never failed to amaze me as her loyal husband that stays with her, even when she has hit rock bottom. i definitely recommend this movie, it has a great ending. i cried a river....more info
This movie is fantastic and it really shows the destructive power of addiction. More importantly, it shows the enduring power of love! I never get tired of this film....more info
- Andy Garcia!
Ever since seeing Ocean's 11, I have thought that Andy Garcia is a good actor, and that's true in this movie as well.
Though it did a decent job of representing the behavior of an alcoholic, the personification was WAY OFF! Meg Ryan's healthy skin and hair just weren't realistic.
I did like the movie, and I'd venture to say that if the movie was made over someone would catch that and hire a new make-up artist....more info
- Great Movie
Coming from an alcoholic family I was able to relate to the children in the movie. I think Meg Ryan played the part perfectly and Andy Garcia did a wonderful job as well. It was a different look at a serious disease, the fact that the mother was an alcoholic.
Meg Ryan (Alice Green) plays a wife and mother of two, who has an out of control drinking problem, that takes her almost dying in the shower to make her realize that she has a problem. Andy Garcia (Michael Green) plays her husband who knows that she has a problem, but just is not ready to face the fact that she needs help or she is going to hurt herself or one of the children.
When Alice finally does get the help she needs, Michael doesn't cope well with the fact that she now has other people to turn to when things get rough. Michael does try to go to a support meeting for family memebers, but just sees it as a bunch of people sitting around feeling sorry for each other. He thinks that things will just 'go back to normal' now that she has gotten help and just isn't that simple.
Although the effects that her drinking had on the kids was not addressed, I felt that it touched most of the bases that a family goes through after recovery.
You will need a box of tissues by your side for this tear jerker....more info
- Wonderful and touching movie!
This movie is just wonderful. I love it. It is so emotional. It is so touching to see the way great acting done by Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia, along with the adorable girls that play their daughters in the movie! They did a wonderful job! I cry whenever I watch this movie. It is one of my favorite movies of all time. I highly recommend it!...more info
- Very good, touching, and an important movie to watch
This movie is very well written, and has a very definate plot which pulls on your emotions. I reccomend this video to anyone, especially those who could relate to the struggle of alchoholism. Good for ages 10 and up...more info
- good movie
I will admit that I don't know any alcoholics and I have not experienced the effects. However, I thought that Meg Ryan was very believable. She seemed as if she was really drunk especially during the scene when her little daughter watched her pop pills and drink at the same time....more info
- I absolutely love this movie!!!
This is a wonderful movie about a mother who is an alcoholic and how it affects her and her family. I cry every time I watch it....more info
- This is ok
This is just an OK movie I dont see whats so great about it. Meg Ryan's character is a drunk Andy Garcia is her husband and wants her to get clean blah blah blah. At least Meg isnt all perky in this one. In most of her films I want to bash her face in. 3 stars....more info
- When a Man Loves a Woman
I thought this movie was the most touching and heartfelt movie I have ever seen. I recomend that everyone should see it It is a true moening of what true love is really about....more info
The first time I saw this movie I couldnt stop crying. When a man loves a woman (very stupid name for a movie like this) is based in the storie of an alcoholic woman who struggles to get over her sickness. Her man (Andy Garcia)tries to do what ever he can in order to help her but at the end, the real conclusion is the fact that she has to face her addiction. Love, sick love and codependency are the 3 basic points of this movie. AMAZIN MOVIE.
La primera vez que vi esta pel¨ªcula no pude parar de llorar. Cuando un hombre ama a una mujer (un nombre bastante est¨²pido para una pel¨ªcula como esta) se basa en la historia de una mujer alcoh¨®lica, que lucha por superar su enfermedad. Su hombre (Andy Garc¨ªa)trata de hacer todo lo que puede para ayudarla pero al final, la real conclusi¨®n es que ella tiene que aceptar su adicci¨®n. Amor, amor enfermo y coodependencia, son los 3 puntos b¨¢sicos de esta pel¨ªcula. ...more info
- When a Man Loves a Woman
I loved this movie! Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan were very good in this movie. Meg plays an alcoholic mother and Andy is her husband attempting to keep the family together during her rehab process. I thought the acting was very good, and the story line was captivating. Very enjoyable, but also will pull on your heartstrings....more info
- justin teplitz collection: Tear Jerker
meg ryan and andy garcia deserve oscar's for their terrific performance on the silver screen. basically, andy is married to meg with kids. the plot evolves around andy's belittling of his wife because she is an alcoholic. was andy emotionally abusive? i didn't think so, at least not intentionally, but it's debatable i guess. in the end, they learn that loves conquers all and all is forgiven, thus making it a great love story....more info
- There are certain roles Meg Ryan can play ,
and this isn't one of them. She's just too cutsy and clean not earthy enough. She's better off with lighter subject matter so she can show off her cutsy. I didn't believe for 1 second that she was a drunk. Besides why would anyone need a drink if they were married to super sexy Andy Garcia. I could think of better things to do with him....more info
- Good SOlid film
Andy Garcia&Meg Ryan have Real Chemistry in this film about an Abusive Problem.which is Alcohol.it is done very well by Meg Ryan who I'm that Big a Fan of but she is very convincing here.Andy Garcia is a Very Underrated Actor.He does a Good job here as well.Alcolism is a very Serious Problem&Condition that effects alot of People and it's Important too see it being dealt with and The Impact it can have on the Lives around it....more info
- Touching.......Tell all of your friends!!
This was a moving depiction of the perceptions of life and love. This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It was so romantic and Andy Garcia is enough to make any movie worth seeing....more info
- A Classic!
Bought this for a girl! I've never actually watched this movie!
Only reviewing because Amazon asked to me review my purchases!
Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia, it must be good!...more info
- Shall I recite this movie line by line?!?!?!?!
For some unknown reason this movie has really spoken to me since I first saw the trailer for it in theaters. I remember seeing it on the day it was released into theaters with my sister and then seeing it another five or six times before it left the theaters...a bit extreme, I know, and something I NEVER do! Finally, it was released to video and I think I rented it enough times to have bought it several times over. I now own it and I am sure I will eventually have to replace a worn copy of it!
There is something touching about this movie. Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan play a couple obviously in love, with two adorable children, dealing with alcoholism and the effects it has on a relationship. The movie manages to bring in humor and romance with a realistic look at the damages done by this disease.
I have a lot of favorite movies that I like to watch over again but I haven't come close to watching any of them as many times as I've seen this movie. In fact, this is the one movie that I can recite line by line!...more info
- Great Andy Garcia performance
Alice Green (Meg Ryan) and her husband, Michael (Andy Garcia) are a happily married young couple, until Alice's secret drinking problem is exposed. Alice goes to rehab and when she comes home, she and Michael don't know how to act with one another without the help of alcohol.
This is a really good romantic drama dealing with the terrible ways alcoholism affects a couple and their young children. Oh, my goodness - that Andy Garcia can act and he's quite the dreamboat, too. He's so utterly convincing as the tortured husband that it makes me wonder why I haven't seen him in more leading roles. Meg Ryan, on the other hand, never convinced me she was suffering with guilt or shame or anything; her sunny smile and angelic face were always the same...perky, perky, PERKY! Alcoholism never looked so good!
It's interesting that most of the conflict in the story is after Alice comes home from rehab. It's only then that they both realize what a big part drinking had in their lives and that they have to start all over in their relationship. Although the happy ending is never in doubt, this is an emotionally draining film that is very well done. ...more info
- VERY GOOD
THIS MOVIE SHOWS HOW AN ALCOHOLIC WILL NOT ONLY HURT HIMSELF (OR HERSELF) BUT HOW HIS OR HER ALL ENTOURAGE WILL BE HURT. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS MOVIE IS THE FACT THAT BEING ALCOHOLIC WAS SHOWN AS BEING A SICKNESS. IT IS SIMPLY THE STORY OF A SICK WOMAN (A SICK HUMAN BEING) TRYING TO GET BETTER WITH THE HELP OF HER LOVELY HUSBAND WHO DOES NOT KNOW EVERYTHING ECEPT THAT HE LOVES HIS WIFE....more info
- This is one of the best movies that was ever made!!
This is a really great movie because it shows that it is not always the man that get a problem with alcohol in a relationship, it happens to women too. Meg Ryan did a great job in perfoming her role and Andy Garcia did a good job too. This movie shows the struggle that a family must go though to over come a battle with an alcoholic parent....more info
- Lovely and powerful.
When a Man Loves A Woman starring Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan is sobering look at what addiction can do to a family in crisis. Ryan should have received an Oscar for her riveting and out of the box performance as Alice, a wife and mother of two girls who battles with alcoholism. Her husband (Garcia) is terrified when Alice hits rock bottom and slaps her eldest daughter after a drunken binge. After she recovers, their relationship is put to the ultimate test, can Alice survive without her dependency for booze? You just have to watch this great film and see for yourself. A must-have for die hard Meg Ryan fans....more info
- All Time Favorite Movie
Get out the kleenex!
Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan gave wonderful performances as Alice and Michael Green. I thought this movie showed a very realistic look at alcoholism and the effects on a family. Andy, as Michael, the ever caring, loving, devoted husband looking after his girls, and not seeing a problem exists. Meg, as Alice, insecure and able to hide her drinking from everyone but her children, Jess and Casey. When Alice is forced to face her demons, everyone has to come to grips with their own insecurities and the truth.
"When a Man Loves a Woman", it's amazing what the outcome can be!...more info
- Alcohol is Poison!!!! Get help now!!!!
I am a recovering alcoholic. My husband & I first saw this movie June 12/05 at a detox center in Alaska where our vacation was cut very short due to my nervous system shutting down, due to several years of alcohol abuse. This movie was used in one of our classes in rehabilitation. We were facinated. It told our story. The movie is for the struggling alcoholic & for the loved ones involved. Everyone one is affected by this most crippling disease. This movie is a must "tool" for anyone especially new to sobriety. I even still watch it when I feel a need to. It is very real & most excellent.
- Get out the Prozac
Okay, this was a well done movie but made me so freakin' depressed. I guess that speaks to its ability to affect the viewer but I don't want to feel depressed after watching a movie!...more info
- extremely touching, a must see tear jerker.
The movie is about an alcoholic, Meg Ryan, her struggle with her disease, and the impact it has on her family. It is beautiful because as the movie progresses, you see Meg Ryan's character goes through personal growth, and her family grows with her in an effort to support her rehabilitation. It is a serious drama that will bring tears to your eyes....more info
- Amazing Movie
I didn't realize this film came out several years ago and I had never watched it before and just now had to for a class I am taking in college about drugs and alcoholism. This movie was wonderful and there wasn't a dry eye (at least from the ladies) in the room when it was over. It shows what alcoholism can do to a family, the children, the couple and who they thought they were, and who they were when the alcoholism finally came to an end. Even if you don't like the actors, it's definitely worth watching. What's even more amazing is the way he sticks by her, the title of this movie, is truly unique and an excellent choice to go with the theme of the movie....more info
- Wonderful heart felt feel good movie
If you like "feel good movies" this is the one. This movie touches the heart of every man that truly loves his woman and every woman trying to live up to her husband's expectations. I loved every minute of it. Highly recommend to anyone who just likes "feel good movies" or anyone battling the terrible disease of alcoholism. ...more info
- An accurate portrayal of the destructive force that is alcoholism...
It's a little heavy-handed and comes off a bit syrupy at the end, but `When a Man Loves a Woman' is an effective tear-jerker of a drama that accurately handles the tragedy that is alcoholism. It manages to take no sides in the matter and portray both spectrums of the disease, looking objectively at the alcoholic themselves as well as the sober mate as he tries to pick up the pieces. It refuses to really place any blame, even when it tells you that it is and I think that was a wise step since there really is no blame to be placed in situations like this. You get better, you move forward. When you stop to point the finger you regress.
The film takes a look at a middle class suburban family torn to pieces because of the wife's battle with alcohol. Alice Green seems to be the perfect mother and spouse from the outside but she harbors a dirty secret. She hides her problem from her family; her husband included, but when things really hit their bottom there is no denying what needs to be done. Alice enters rehab in order to clean up, to get sober and stay there to protect her family. This leaves a strain on her husband Michael to take care of their two daughters Jessica and Casey, as well as work and take care of the home. The stress of having his wife away from him, not knowing how she is doing at all times, eats away at him and causes divisions between him and others that he comes in contact with, like the Green's housekeeper Amy.
What I love so much about this film is that it exposes the fact that the disease is not the only problem causing agent. Most people feel that when one suffers from a substance problem they can fix it and move on and everything will be better but the fact remains that that is not the case. When Alice returns home, sober and clean, her fights with Michael intensify to the point where they start to loathe one another. It casts a light on the fact that the rehabilitation process is just as painful sometimes as the disease itself. People change when they are sober, and that is brought to the forefront too. It's clear that, while he doesn't want to admit it, Michael misses the woman his wife was when she was drunk. He misses her wild side as well as his ability to put her back together when she fell to pieces. It's a time of adjustment, not just for the `sick' mate but for the entire family.
Meg Ryan is astonishing here. It sickens me to know she was snubbed of the Oscar nomination (she's my personal winner this year) for her performance is so accurate and effortless. She manages to display every confused emotion you'd expect to see from an alcoholic going through rehab. She manages to capture her character brilliantly. Andy Garcia works here, but his performance doesn't carry the same weight as Ryan's. He manages to capture the confusion and pain of the worried spouse well but he's almost too subtle at times, so subtle that his outbursts seem a bit theatrical. Tina Majorino is amazing as the eldest daughter Jessica. She was quite the star in 94 with `When a Man Loves a Woman' and `Corrina, Corrina' coming out back to back and showcasing this young girls talent.
In the end `When a Man Loves a Woman' delivers. It really works as a dramatic film to capture the harsh realities of alcoholism and even teaches the viewer of the consequences that come from all sides of the equation. Like I mentioned in the beginning, the film is a bit heavy handed. It tries really hard to make this as tragic as can be. It also comes off syrupy at the end, as in `let's make this as devastating as possible that way when everything gets fixed the whole audience will burst into tears'. Sadly, I hated the ending. It was too corny for my taste and took away from the film's feeling of reality, at least in my opinion. But, the entire film leading up to the last thirty seconds is phenomenal and deserves major attention. Even if `When a Man Loves a Woman' is not you cup of tea you must admit that Meg Ryan chews up the scenery like it were candy and delivers an orgasmic performance worthy of much praise and admiration. ...more info
- Meg is just too cute to play a drunk. I didn't believe it for a
second. Andy is just so sexy and good looking, if he were my hubby I would be doing better things with him than getting drunk. Typical stupid woman throwing away a perfectly good hubby, an airline pilot pulling down at least 6 figues. Adopting her daughter from a previous marriage, helping around the house and she drinks because she had a disfunctional childhood, well who hasen't, lady. But we all don't become dope addicts, child molesters or drunks....more info
I remember the first time I saw this movie. It was a stretch outside the normal Meg Ryan 'Look at me, I'm cute' role. Here was a real woman with real issues. And Andy Garcia just stole my heart with the depth of love he had for his wife. The ending wasn't wrapped in a perfect bow either...it ends with promise and hope and with the one thing that never waivered. The good love of a good man. Highly highly recommended....more info
- I Only Wish I Had Seen This Movie Back In 1994
I can't remember ever seeing a movie that made me cry, but this one did. I'm a male in my 30's, and I usually don't let movies get to me, but this one was powerful. I would urge anyone who has a close relationship with someone who is in recovery to see this movie. Five years ago, I lost my fiancee partly due to this terrible disease, and I had no frame of reference to relate to her with, and the daily struggles she was going through in recovery. I tried to rescue her (like Andy Garcia) without realizing that you can't save anyone but yourself, and you have to deal with your own issues instead of focusing on someone else....more info
- How Meg Ryan saved my life
This movie may not be in the 'Days of Wine and Roses' league, in which the great, departed Jack Lemmon deservedly won a Best Actor Oscar. It is, however, a very significant film for me personally. Dealing very sensitively with alcoholism, the performances given by its two main stars, Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia, are, in my view, underestimated. I have watched this movie several times. I am a huge Meg Ryan fan, and, whilst this is not my personal favourite of hers, I feel that it proves that she is too good an actress to be typecast in romantic comedies. She looks the part as the alcoholic, and I intend to be merely complimentary in this assessment; Andy Garcia, equally, is fine as the 'al-anon' husband, with whom so many spouses can associate. I suppose I am somewhat biased in my opinion, as, not only am I a massive Meg addict, I have also (like Meg's character) pulled through alcohol addiction. For me, the scene towards the end of the video, where she, at the alcohol treatment centre, makes a speech, to declare that she has been sober for 184 days, is very poignant. I saw this movie when I was at my lowest ebb, traumatised by alcohol addiction. This scene was to save me, as I thought, if Meg can do it, so can I! Therefore, I white-knuckled it through 184 days, just like Meg, and I am now nearly at my fourth 184 days, after nearly two years of sobriety. I'll never know whether this film would have had such a profound effect on me if someone else had played that part. But, in my view, no-one else would have been able to play that part to such good effect. The carefree girl from 'When Harry Met Sally', reduced to alcoholism. That's why it was effective, and, for me, a life saver. So a big thank you to Meg Ryan, and not to forget Andy Garcia. Seeing an alcoholic deteriorate through the eyes of a loved one is always inspiring to those who wish to combat the illness. Not a great movie, as I said earlier, but a very underrated one. It saved this reviewer's life....more info
- Good Movie. Bad DVD.
I looked through a bunch of the reviews posted here and none of the ones I saw mentioned the actual DVD itself. I agree, the movie is outstanding. I would give the movie a 5 rating. But the DVD is not worth even the low price tag! I give the DVD about a 2 rating. The video quality is horrible with lots of artifacting throughout. Come on Hollywood, we all know you can do better than this! I see the quality of this type of release the equivelent of releasing a movie on VHS is EP or SLP mode! Why sacrifice the quality if you don't have to? Maybe it's so a second, and perhaps third version of the film can be released on DVD in a "remastered" version over and over and over... Don't buy this disc. Just wait for a quality release to come out...complete with 5.1 audio. Consumers need to start demanding better or the studios will continue to trick us into buying the same movie over and over and over....more info
- Fantastic movie! Garcia is wonderful!
I am 16 years old and female and initially I got this movie to watch because Andy Garcia is in it...I'm a HUGE fan. Once I started getting into the movie however, it really blew me away. This movie makes one realize the power of alcohol and how difficult it is to stop, even though you know what it is doing to yourself and others around you. This film really made me think and realize how truly grateful I should be about my own life.
Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia play a wonderful couple in this movie but I must say that I was most impressed with Garcia's role as Michael. He is a VERY versatile and extremely talented actor that makes any role appear to be himself. His portrayal of pain, dedication, and frustration are incredible. Even in his shortcomings, he is able to play them out admittedly instead of trying to be proud and try and hide them. I was truly touched....more info
- love conquers all
i'm so glad you people understood this is a disease, not a lack of conscience or love.
we may hurt others in the process of hurting ourselves.
and that doesn't make us right, it makes us human.
and we have a reason to come back, thanks to you....more info
- When a Man Loves a Woman
I thought this was going to be a romantic comedy, but was disappointed to find this a dark and depressing drama. It is a story about how being an alcoholic can affect a family and the journey they have to take to stay together. Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia play a married couple, and Meg is the one with the alcohol addiction. The saying about hitting rock bottom would definitely apply to this film. The audience sees Meg slowly spiral completely out of control, and how low she has to go until she finally is ready to reach out for help. Her family has to come to terms with the fact that she will not be the same person she was as a drunk. When Meg emerges from rehab, everyone is on edge with her - not only her family, but friends and acquaintances too. Everyone has adjustments to make.
- HOLLYWOOD STYLE DRUNKS
This will be short because with the many addiction/alcoholic films out there this is by far the most unrealistic. That is it's only and fatal problem.
Meg Ryan is a truly beautiful woman. Far,far too beautiful to make a good alcoholic.As her husband,Andy Garcia comes across as a whiny little killjoy.
Alcohol ravages the body and ruins skin tone. We are suppose to believe that Ms. ryan is so addicted to alcohol that she digs through trash cans to finish the dregs of a bottle of booze (as is seen in the film). It simply is not convincing. The pain and ugliness of alcoholism never are realized. Since the agony and horrible consequenses of being an active and then recovering alcoholic are the basis of the entire dramatic "impact" of the film, I kept waiting for the problem to get bad enough for me to care. It never did....more info
- This movie helped change my life - hope, and a vision for recovery.
I knew I had a problem. I finally watched this movie. I had heard about this movie for a long time, but never wanted to watch it, but one day, I did. I wanted recovery like the women Meg Ryan played in the movie. When I finally hit my bottom, I knew rehab was where I needed to be, because I had seen what had happened in this movie. I was just like the character Meg played...a fun drinker, then it got out of control. The best was I got a vision for recovery, for hope and the possibility of change in my life being painted out in my life through this movie. I highly recommend. Now, 3 years later....the miracle has come true! My life is fabulous. ...more info
A beautiful family movie! It's good to see a family that sticks together even in difficult times. The father showed magnificent strength in the support of the mother during her struggle with substance abuse. ...more info
- Interesting Twists on a Familiar Plot
This film received no more than average response from Critics and audiences in 1994 and it is interesting to watch it a decade later to see how it holds up. There is no doubt in my mind that Meg Ryan wanted this role to contrast her "America's Sweetheart" image. Fresh off her perky roles in hits like "Sleepless in Seattle" and "When Harry met Sally," the part of Alice Green is a super acting part for Ryan and she is up to the challenge. Andy Garcia, then on the cusp of mega-stardom (it never panned out, oddly enough) had to settle for the part of victimized, shut-out husband,but he makes the makes the most of it. So why do I only give this film 3 stars ? The problem is in the script. The story is full of holes and under-developed plot lines. Why did the writers not delve into Alice's failed first marriage, her relationship with her parents (we only discover that her father is an alcoholic in the film's final 5 minutes), or show the professional consequences of Alice's behavior. I suspect the Producers felt that Ryan and Garcia' s Star Power would carry this film but I was left with more questions than answers....more info
- When a man loves a woman
I bought this movie off of this site because I have been searching for it all over and finally came here and found it. The movie, as I am sure everyone has seen, is about an alcoholic mother who seems to disreguard everything and everyone in her life. She finally is sent away for some help and her family/children come and visit her. Its an adorable movie and Andy Garcia is so adorable in it. It was cheap, easy and sent to me within the next day. I'm not really a movie person, but when I go to search for those that I like, I will definitely be back on this site to find it. ...more info
- Watch it even if you hate the actors
This is actually a very good movie, in spite of the fact that I personally hate Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia. I was about to stop watching after seeing the first 15 minutes, but after sticking with it I thought the movie was excellent not just because it addresses issues with alcoholism, but issues about conflicts in family life and barriers to communication, which happen to be quite common in general.
Even if you remove the topic of alcoholism completely, you can see how the movie deals with issues like what happens when the person you are married to is no longer the person you married? What do you do when someone you love is hiding things not just from others but from themselves? What issues come up when a couple starts to see a licensed practitioner? What is it like to enter a support group, especially when you have judgments about the types of people that make up the support group?
I would have given this movie five stars if not for my personal distaste for Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia. But this movie really opened my eyes, and perhaps more importantly, my heart, and I would recommend it to anyone who has experienced a troubled relationship, due to alcohol or not....more info
- Riveting movie about the effects of alcoholism
When I first saw the title of this movie, I was thinking that this was going to be a romantic comedy. But, to my surprise, it was so much more.
Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia are good as Alice and Michael Green. I liked the fact that the movie dealt with Alice's alcoholism. She realizes that she has a major problem with alcohol. Eventually, she goes into rehabilitation.
I'm glad that they didn't stop the movie with her coming out of rehab and life will be all wonderful and fuzzy. What happens is that with Alice sober, Michael doesn't have anyone to rescue anymore. It is good to watch how their relationship changes with Alice's new found sobriety. Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia do a great job in showing how alcoholism can effectively mess up a relationship and family.
It's been a while since I have seen this movie, but there are some wonderful supporting performances to mention. Tina Majorino as the oldest daughter, Jess, is astonishing. She shows a lot of emotion for the daughter of an alcoholic. I think that she could have easily been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
Also, Lauren Tom as Amy, the Green's nanny/housekeeper, is incredible. Her character does not really like Michael Green very much. The scene where Michael begs her to come back and help the family is great. Amy definitely does not make it easy for him.
This movie is definitely not light-hearted fair. In fact, I would really not recommend this for children. But, for adults, I recommend this movie because it tackles alcoholism head on, especially with some not so pleasant views of Alice's alcoholism....more info
- Everybody Hurts Sometimes.....
This subdued but tender and gut-wrenching look at two people who desperately love each other but find their marriage unravelling because of the bottle has two genuinely moving performances from Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan. At first quietly touching, and as it progresses, ultimately heartbreaking, it is like watching a terrible car crash in slow motion. You can't take your eyes away from the screen because you must know the fate of the family inside.
Written by Ronald Bass and Al Franken, the beautiful photography of Lajos Koltai is in contrast to the sad music score of Zbigniew Preisner, highlighting the difference between appearances and the real picture just beneath the surface. Director Luis Mandoki begins the film in romantic fashion but soon peels back the layers to expose a marriage in deep trouble.
Andy Garcia is amazingly good in an understated performance as a husband very much in love with a wife who has become a liitle too drunk a little too often. A pilot for a major airline, he has all the trappings of happiness. Two adorable little girls and a nice home, however, can offer no magic answers when he sees the woman he loves sliding and is at a loss what to do to stop it. Like any husband, Michael Green wants to fix things but can't admit he doesn't know how.
Meg Ryan is flawlessly genuine as his wife, Alice Green. A trip to Mexico to ease the supposed pressure prompting her to drink too much only puts a spotlight on how far she has fallen when a tragedy nearly occurs. But it is a moment alone with her oldest daughter which will finally force her into a treatment center. Rather than cliches, this film shows there are no easy answers. Michael is disquieted then shocked at just how much the children saw and knew about their mother's problem. Things of which he himself was unaware.
The underlying problems still remain when she returns and tries to readjust and you can truly feel the frustration of the coulple. Finally separating, Garcia is truly magnificent in scenes with the two young girls from Ryan's previous marriage he considers his own. Meg's finest moment in the film comes near the end and should have put her into Oscar contention. Tina Majorino as their older daughter and Lauren Tom as their babysitter deserve mention as well. Quietly played performances with the thoughtful intelligence you see more often in foreign films seemed to work against the picture's stars in this regard.
This film is ultimately about love and is quite romantic. It is a mature romance, however, devoid of pretense and not seen through rose colored glasses. A beautifully conceived drama which leaves a lasting impression on the heart and a film everyone should see....more info
- The Tear jerker of all tear jerkers
I went to see this movie with my brother because we both like Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan. I didn't expect the movie to touch me the way it did. I highly recommend everyone see this movie. It is so real to life you can't help but shed many tears. My brother hardly ever cries, the only othe movie my brother cried at was "The Champ" with Ricky Shroeder. Not only did my brother cry, the whole theater was bawling, everyone. I never heard so many sniffs in one room. In all, I love this movie because of the passion Ryan and Garcia have for each other and the kids. If this movie doesn't touch your heart, you have no heart. Buy it or rent it, you must see it....more info
- Excellent portrayal of an alcoholic
Meg should have gotten top billing for this movie. Her portrayal of an alcoholic was right-on. I recommend this movie for those living with an alcoholic in recovery. It focuses on finding the solutions, not just poking at the problems alcoholics cause in families and relationships. It presents to spouses the concept of "letting go" and "caring about" versus "caring for."...more info
- Sad and Real. Finally a good portrayal.
No film has shown the damage that alcoholism does to someone in this way. Nobody thinks that even the houswifes and the soccer moms could be effected. The alcoholic in this movie is played by the awesomely talented Meg Ryan, who should've been nominated for her role as the depressed alcoholic mom, Alice. Andy Garcia is also a good choice to play the troubled husband. The movie is very depressing but has a silver lining. Everyone should see this movie at one time or another, it will change your view on this disease....more info
- Deeply Moving, Honest and heart wrenching
Before I go on to my review I would like to reply to the reviewer who wrote the following statement " The best performance is by Tina Majorino, who doesn't for a moment look like the spawn of Ryan and Garcia" Of course she does not we learn almost immediately that Michael(Andy Garcia) is not her Biological Father.
That being said here are my thoughts...
This Movie captures you from the very beginning, Meg Ryan plays an Alcoholic with a stunning and dead on performance. The scene where Alice ( Meg Ryan) and Michael (Andy Garcia) fight when she suggests she should leave for awhile is so raw and brutal it left me gasping. This Movie is NOT theatrical hype, or movie of the week material, what it is, is a very honest portrayal of a family in crisis and how Alcoholism affects the entire family. Andy Garcia as Michael does an outstanding Job playing the "enabler" he takes care of Alice (Meg Ryan)whenever she is drunk, handling everything which in turn contributes to her feelings of self doubt and insecurity. The Movie gives you insight into each character their strength and flaws, allowing you to understand the role they each play in the family, from Alice the Alcoholic, to Michael the enabler, Jessie the Mini Adult, behaving as a Mother at times to the baby sister Carrie.
Watch this movie more then once it is worth a second viewing!...more info
- no title
This was much, much better than I expected it to be. A real tear jerker. If I was to let myself cry, this movie would've been it, not "The Joy Luck Club". Andy Garcia surely deserved an Oscar nomination. He was simply great. I was not a big fan of his, but here he clearly impressed me. Of course, he was also terrific in "The Godfather Part 3". Meg Ryan was effective, but still a little too cutsey, with the same mannerisms she uses in all her films. But the two daughters were outstanding, especially the older one, played by Tina Majorino, who appears to be about 7 or 8. Also, the look of the film, set in San Francisco, is good, especially the interiors of their house. Garcia really seems to care about Ryan. This movie is about love, and how it doesn't always carry the day with alcoholics. I also liked the fact that this movie picks up in the middle of things, they've been married and had a kid (you don't learn til much later that he is not the older kid's dad), and we see her drink a lot. They don't start with how they fell in love, or even attempt to explain why she's an alcoholic. Smart....more info
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