How does a woman in a rehab center recover when surrounded by other equally dysfunctional individuals?
Gwen Cummings (Sandra Bullock) drinks too much, pops too many pills, and refuses to take responsibility for her misguided life. All that changes when she ruins her sister's wedding. Gwen falls into the cake, crashes the newlyweds' limo into a house and lands in a recovery center. The story, while tailored to fit Bullock's acting style, doesn't break any new dramatic or comedic ground. Much of the humor is contrived, and many worse-off celluloid addicts have redeemed themselves more convincingly.
There's just no end to Bullock's girl-next-door sweetness. She's still warm and fuzzy even
when she's playing a self-abusive addict. However, as a bad-girl Bullock falls short. Dominic West is the carefree boozer boyfriend, Jasper, who justifies his drug use with shallow friendships. Gritty and cynical yet endearing (everything Bullock's execution should have been) he steals the show.
Director Betty Thomas' characters stand out with strong identities but don't work well together. Sadly, the cast of the patients' favorite soap opera, "Santa Cruz," is more entertaining and believable than Sandra's posse. Thomas tries to blend humor and drama but loses her direction in the process.
This movie could use a little rehab of its own.