Coming to theatres from writer/director Rodrigo Garcia and Vertical Entertainment comes a family tale that can seem all too familiar when looking for FOUR GOOD DAYS.
Molly (Mila Kunis) is a long-time heroine user who has once again reached rock bottom. Banging on the door of Mom Deb’s (Glenn Close) door is like opening a twisted Pandoras Box. Deb makes it clear that Molly is not welcome in her home until she is clean but that does not stop Molly from banging on the door from dusk till dawn.
Husband Chris (Stephen Root) insists that Deb stay at bay for her own sanity’s sake and that of the emotional turmoil Molly brings. Having already lost husband Sean (Joshua Leonard) and custody of her children, she has no place else to go.
Deb insists that her daughter go to rehab once again as insurance will take care of three days. Once that is done, they are told by the doctor that there is a medication that Molly can take once a month to help her beat heroine and their ears perk up. The only difficulty is Molly cannot have used drugs for eight days and she is four days shy of that.
Deb agrees to take Molly in her home for those last four days as they wait it out for the one thing that could turn life around – for them both. During their time together, Molly gets a chance to vent her frustrations with Deb and a past she cannot seem to be forgiving about and Deb has the chance to vent her fears over all the years that Molly has been an addict.
But four days is a long time for two people who has serious issues with one another. Stress becomes anger and anger boils over until one of them walks away. Everything that the four days was pushing towards has the potential to vanish if they do not make it work.
Close as Deb is a woman that is torn, frustrated, mistrustful, dealing with a mother’s love, angry and it is all wrapped up in a bundle of trying to save her child. Granted, Molly is a grown woman with children of her own but to a mother – your child is your child. Deb’s problem is that she is trusting yet not trusting and those lines are constantly blurred where Molly is concerned. Dealing with guilt of her own regarding life decisions, that guilt is killing them both. Close is amazing but then again there is nothing surprising in that as she has honed her craft to the point where all one has to do it watch and enjoy.
Kunis as Molly is an angry, lying, stealing, manipulating conjurer of pain for everyone around her. Taking no responsibility and blaming everyone else is the highlight of her days and tries to pour every miserable detail of life onto anyone else but herself. So, basically her character is doing what all addicts do but yet Kunis manages through her character to give us hope as if we were attached to Deb at the hip feeling the hope of a mother. That is the magic trick Kunis pulls off and does so exceptionally well. I did not know whether to love her or slap her into next year! Well done.
Root as Chris is a man who is trying to protect his family from his family. As Molly’s stepfather he has watched his wife being raked over the coals but her child. Seeing things from the outside it is easier for him to say “let her go” than for a mother to actually let her go. I get where Roots’ character is coming from and totally understand. With that I cheered when he stood up for himself!
Other cast include Rebecca Field as Coach Miller, Sam Hennings as Dale, Michael Hyatt as Lisa, Chad Lindberg as Daniel, Nicholas Oteri as Colton and Audrey Lynn as Chloe.
Vertical Entertainment is a global independent distributor that offers a unique wealth of experience minus the studio costs. They have won a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress for Molly Shannon’s role in OTHER PEOPLE and the film won a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Film Limited Release, Best International Film for Babak Anvari’s UNDER THE SHADOW, a BAFTA and three Independent British Independent film Awards as well.
FOUR GOOD DAYS is a film for everyone who has struggled with addiction in the family and anyone who wants to know how it feels to be in the middle of it all. There are actually three sides to this story and they all play out equally well. There is the story of Molly and how she came to become an addict but also the lengths she went to on the destructive path through addiction.
There is the story of Deb, a mother who made mistakes in her life and tried to learn how to protect herself from her own daughter. That is horribly painful to think about for most mothers. Deb wants to save her daughter, but each time Molly comes knocking, there is the prospect of the world around them both falling apart. Deb tries to set boundaries but again, being a mom gets in the way more times than not. The mistrust is palpable, and you can easily find yourself yelling at the screen when decisions are being made.
Finally, there are those on the outside looking in at the situation. From the stepfather to Molly’s father to kids in a classroom, they are listening but there is a disconnect between listening to someone tell you about addiction and the destruction and seeing it firsthand. It’s the smiling when people mean well but are far from the situation.
FOUR GOOD DAYS is a well-done film that tackles a very sensitive issue and that is our country is still dealing with drug issues and ways to help those who need it most. Watching the conflict between Deb and Molly is extremely difficult at times because there is a sense of hopelessness associated with their story. These two actresses have taken a powerful stance with their characters that give only a tiny sliver of insight into a fraction of the issues families deal with.
The film is based on the 2016 Washington Post article “How’s Amanda? A Story of Truth, Lies and an American Addiction”.
In the end – they have work to do!