Kate and Charlie like to have a good time. Their marriage thrives on a shared fondness for music, laughter… and getting smashed. When Kate’s partying spirals into hard-core asocial behavior, compromising her job as an elementary schoolteacher, something’s got to give. But change isn’t exactly a cakewalk. Sobriety means she will have to confront the lies she’s been spinning at work, her troubling relationship with her mother, and the nature of her bond with Charlie.
Many films indulge the dramatic highs and lows of addiction. Refreshingly, Smashed is interested in the unglamorous middle path—what stumbling through recovery looks like. As Kate tests new boundaries and shoulders the consequences of her choices, this subtle story of imperfect transformation taps into truths about the challenges and losses intrinsic to living life honestly. Genuine performances and a grounded sense of place create an authentic, textured world where three-dimensional characters—neither all bad nor all good—occupy the uncomfortable grey zone of being human. –Sundance Film Festival
One thing that this little slice of the wet life does quite well, aided by Winstead and Paul's warm performances, is ably and efficiently set up a distinction between the wreck that is the main couple's home and the characters themselves. Paul's character isn't a bad drunk, per se, but the life he shares with Winstead is a bad situation, and that distinction makes the final scenes quite effective as she breaks away
Very simple story but done extremely well due to it's acting and restrained direction. Side note: she's a drunk alcoholic and I don't get to see her naked ONCE? Fuck this. I had to see my dad stumble around naked several times when he was drinking (one time it lasted the length of the business card scene in "American Psycho") but I can't see Mary Elizabeth Winstead naked for two seconds? Total horse shit.