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Laney is an attractive, intelligent suburban wife and devoted mother of two adorable children. But she takes the drugs, sleeps with the men and disappears when she wants. Now, with the destruction of her family looming, and temptation everywhere, Laney makes one last desperate attempt at redemption.
I Smile Back isn't a candy-coated, noble depiction of addiction and the toll it takes on families, but rather a bleak yet honest look at how regular people lose themselves, and how difficult it can be to find the way back.
I Smile Back might not rewrite the addiction or mental illness melodrama rule book but that doesn't make it less affecting, Silverman's spectacular performance alone making the price of a ticket well worth spending.
It would be nice if this film offered more hope for Laney, but it isn't that kind of film. It is just a slice of life, and a pretty depressing slice at that, with a disturbing beginning, a dismal end and false hope in the middle.
Silverman delivers a knockout performance - any memories of her scatalogical stand-up act are washed away in an instant. But her intense commitment to the depths of depression belongs in a better, more focused, less derivative film.