#TIFF15: “I SMILE BACK”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
From director Adam Salky comes I Smile Back which brings a powerhouse performance from the brilliant Sarah Silverman, but unfortunately lacks conviction in all other categories.
The Movie focuses on Laney (Sarah Silverman) and her completely destructive life style, whether it be in the form of drugs or adultery, Laney finds something to throw her into trouble. Well her husband, Bruce (Josh Charles) is either blissfully ignorant or indifferent to Laney’s adultery he never seems to bat much of an eye towards it. However when her drug addiction becomes too much, he forces her into rehab to get her life together.
The problems with I Smile Back do not fall in any way on Silverman who is absolutely phenomenal, but rather the story itself. The Movie makes the audience believe that the story is going to focus on Laney’s recovery and adventures while in rehab instead of her very quick arrival and departure as she tries to re-assimilate with her life. With this trajectory for the story it proves to be far less engaging that anticipated and steers off the roads into familiar territory for movies that deal with addiction.
I Smile Back features Sarah Silverman in her strongest and most thought provoking role yet, but the rest of the Film cannot carry itself unfortunately without her.
I Smile Back premieres at TIFF ’15 on Wednesday, September 16th at 7 pm at the Princess of Wales Theatre, a second screening Thursday, September 17th at 1pm at the Winter Garden Theatre and a third screening Saturday, September 19th at 6:45 pm at The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.