Film critic Roger Ebert has reviewed Smashed. Here’s what he had to say about the film:
One of the tales of folklore around Alcoholics Anonymous is that if your spouse joins AA, “it” will take him or her away from you. What’s much more likely to happen is that if your spouse sobers up and you continue to drink alcoholically, your partner may no longer be able to stand you. Marriages have been saved by AA, but usually when both drinking spouses sober up, or if one already is. If a spouse wants you to continue drinking just to be good company, what does that say about that person?
James Ponsoldt’s Toronto entry “Smashed” is an intelligent film about marriage and alcoholism. Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as Kate, a maintenance drinker who steals a swing of beer after her morning shower and sips from a flask in the parking lot outside her job–as a grade school teacher. Non-alcoholics may find it difficult to understand how common a version of this behavior is. Drinkers may find it quite possible that she pukes into a wastebasket in front of her kids.
Finally dragged to an AA meeting by a colleague, Kate meets Jenny (Octavia Spencer, who you may remember as the most sensible character in “The Help,” for which she won an Oscar as best supporting actress). Her new life doesn’t much interest Kate’s husband Charlie (Aaron Paul) or her boozy mom (Mary Kay Place, in a spot-on performance). Give Charlie credit: As long as he stays topped up, he doesn’t much mind how Kate spends her evenings. Eventually she will begin minding how he spend his.