I SMILE BACK

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Depression is a very complex emotion.  Nowadays, there are so many types with names and medications attached them that it’s hard to keep up.  It’s even more difficult to keep up with someone you love who suffers from depression, as it is often times impossible to keep them from spiraling out of control and taking everyone else down with them.

Laney Brooks is a wife and mother whose depression causes her to act out.  She does drugs, disappears and returns home with little to no notice.  She has sex with whoever, whenever and wherever the spirit moves her.  If all that weren’t enough, she drinks  on the down low and appears to also have some sort of eating disorder.  Whew…I’m exhausted already talking about Miss Laney!  The one thing Laney has going for her is the love of her devoted husband Bruce (Josh Charles) and son Eli (Skylar Gaertner).

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From the first frame, Sarah Silverman sucks you in and convinced that she and Laney Brooks are indeed one in the same.  She is a force to be reckoned with this performance and I have a feeling that doing stand-up in a room of 30 people will be a thing of the past for this brilliant comic. Silverman’s acting is transformative, exciting and compelling to behold.  Can you tell I liked her just a little…lol.

Three moments that stand out for me is the opening of the film where Laney is in the bathroom secretly beginning her day the way she does on so many occasions – doing something bad. The very last scene where her husband realizes all the love in the world isn’t going to save his wife, his kid or his marriage. Last, but certainly not least is a scene in her child’s bedroom with a stuffed animal, which is very disturbing to say the least.

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Josh Charles should win film husband of the year for this one.  His patience with Laney as Bruce makes you think of the song lyrics to “When A Man Loves A Woman”.  Your heart breaks watching this train wreck because all the love in the world can’t put “humpty-dumpty back together again”.

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“I Smile Back” makes one wonder the origins of addictive, reckless behavior begins in an individual.  More importantly, how long does it take to fester and percolate before destroying a life completely and everyone in their path.

“I Smile Back” opens on October 23rd and trust me when I tell you that you need to make sure you are really good spirits before taking on this film.  It will leave you breathless…literally.

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