Something good to know about ‘Four Good Days’ before going in is that it’s based on a true story by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post writer Eli Saslow.
It’s a film about drug addiction, presented by two incredibly powerful female performances by Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction, The Wife) and Mila Kunis (Family Guy, Black Swan).
The scenes they have together keep you connected to the story, no matter how heartbreaking the subject matter. It’s a hard film to watch, and one that will stay with you for a while after, no matter the point of view you watch it from. Deb (Close) is the mother of Molly (Kunis). She’s in hell watching her daughter, for all intense and purposes, destroy herself with the drugs she keeps going back to time and time again. It’s upsetting and it’s impossible not to feel for both of these character’s pain.
At the beginning of the film, entirely out of the blue for Molly, and after quite some time, she sees Molly when she knocks on the door needing help. She looks shredded. What has she gone through this time?
This scene tells you a lot. One thing you’ll notice is that at some point, what’s going on between mother and daughter has gotten so ugly that Deb has had to install a security system. Precisely what has Deb put up with already? Exactly what has she seen? The other side of the coin is what is it that led Molly in this direction?
Cleverly, writers Eli Saslow and Rodrigo García don’t fill you in on a lot of those details, giving the audience some suspense and leaving the grimmest details up to their imagination. You’re told enough to get the picture. Deb has gotten used to being forceful with Molly since she’s always lying about what she’s up to and about getting clean.
And she’s had to get rather assertive now because, for her drug money, Molly has stolen credit cards, cash and jewelry from her, among other things. This life isn’t easy on Molly either, she has lost her children, but it has ruined Deb’s life. It isn’t helping her current relationship with her partner Chris, (Root) either. He’s as supportive as they can be, but he does tend to say the wrong things sometimes as he tries to communicate. But then again, so does Deb.
Molly tells her mother everything she wants to hear and also that she wants her kids back. So, Deb does what she thinks is the right thing to encourage Molly to improve her life and tells her to come back when she’s clean and shuts the door on her child.
Later, the film drops deeper into what the two are willing to go through to get Molly clean. This attempt has been made many times before. Throughout the film, you’ll continually ask, does Molly want this, and if so, what is she willing to do to get her life back?
What I really liked about ‘Four Days Clean’ is it isn’t trying to be the best picture or precisely like every other movie out there about addiction and rehab. It’s just an experience about recovery put on film. It isn’t pretty and these people have serious issues. The foulness is out there for all to see. It feels authentic and the acting is incredible. The movie has a few issues, but none that I would say is a reason not to watch.
*‘Four Good Days’ is playing at:
AMC Desert Ridge 18 in Phoenix
Mary D Fisher Theater in Sedona
Four Good Days
*Director: Rodrigo García
*Writers: Eli Saslow & Rodrigo García
*Stars: Glenn Close, Mila Kunis, Stephen Root, Joshua Leonard, Sam Hennings
*Running Time: 1h 40m
*Produced by: Jon Avnet, Marina Grasic, Jake Avnet, Jai Khanna, Rodrigo García