New from Al and Linda Lerner on Movies and Shakers: Four Good Days

Four Good Days Movies and Shakers May 21, 2021

Director Rodrigo Garcia’s treatment of the strained mother/daughter relationship over addiction is more a master class in acting watching Glenn Close with Mila Kunis, than a statement on the current opioid crisis. This is definitely the best we’ve seen from Kunis so far and in a dramatic turn for a change. 

Regarding the plot, you can see where this is going from the very start, and without knowing the real story upon which this is based, can predict just about every turn. It’s based on Eli Saslow’s Pulitzer Prize-winning article in the Washington Post on the real mother and daughter, whose names were  changed for the film. 

Kunis plays 31-year-old Molly who comes knocking on Mom, Deb’s door, for money and to get a place to stay other than on the street. She’s a mess. Molly is emaciated, strung out, ratty hair, lost teeth, probably smells. Deb has seen it so many times before and knows that if she gives her daughter money, it will just go to get high. It doesn’t take long to find out that Molly lies and has stolen from Deb everything that ever meant anything to her. That includes her wedding and engagement rings, and so much more. 

Molly hates herself, but is desperate. She keeps trying to use whatever she can to get what she wants and needs. They play a lot of cat and mouse. Deb’s present husband, Chris, has seen it before and tries not to get involved, but still protect his wife if he can. Stephen Root is also a stellar actor and you can see the tension and frustration as they all go through the same motions you know they’ve gone through before. It’s tough to watch. 

Once you’ve seen the first scenes, you know pretty much you’re in for a painful journey. It becomes elongated when Deb takes Molly to the doctor and he gives them hope for a way to stop her addiction. If Molly can stay clean for 4 days, she can be given an injection that can keep her from wanting to get high for a month and get her on the road to staying clean.

The only saving grace is watching Kunis and Close play off each other. There are scenes without much dialogue, but you can literally read their faces with combative, then sympathetic, to strategic stares trying to avoid the worst possible scenarios. They are both well past support groups. 

Of course, Molly’s got an ex-husband and kids, plus a mean Dad and other complications in the mix. Both Deb and Molly have guilt for past behaviors that left a total mess. Deb up and left when Molly was young which cratered the already dysfunctional family. 

Of course, Molly’s got an ex-husband and kids, plus a mean Dad and other complications in the mix. Both Deb and Molly have guilt for past behaviors that left a total mess. Deb up and left when Molly was young which cratered the already dysfunctional family. 

More destructive incidents lead up to a sort of cliffhanger at the very end. Will they get through it? The song over the credits, written by Diane Warren and sung by Reba McEntire is entitled “Somehow You Do.” Warren wrote it for the film as a sign of hope, but says she found the meaning also extends to our going through the pandemic. 

While It’s painful to go on this film’s journey fighting addiction, the most redeeming feature is Close and Kunis’ acting. But we were really hoping Four Good Days would turn into a more satisfying hour and 40 minutes. 

Vertical Entertainment       1 hour 40 minutes        R

In Theaters and On Demand 

The post Four Good Days first appeared on Movies and Shakers.

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