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When a Man Loves a Woman

Through the good times. Through the bad times. When a Man Loves a Woman it's for all times. 

Year: 1994 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Hollywood doesn't often bother to do serious drama well, but for once it has managed to take a serious subject and treat it well; this film is about alcoholism and its destructive effects on a family and a once-close relationship.

Alice (Meg Ryan) and Michael (Andy Garcia) meet in a bar, and immediately hit it off; they get married, and we skip forward a number of years to see them as a happy and successful couple with two young daughters, still madly in love, and very happy.

But something is starting to go wrong. Michael is starting to have trouble keeping Alice under control after they get back from a night on the town; and Alice has a real problem. There's a bottle of vodka in the airing cupboard, that gets replaced almost daily. Alice gets worse and worse, until she finally goes over the edge and nearly endangers her own children; after she's found lying in a stupor on broken glass, she checks into a clinic to begin the long road to recovery.

At which point it's time to start getting out the hankies, because it's something of a weepy. It takes Alice a lot of time and a lot of Alcoholics Anonymous to get on the wagon - and it takes Michael just as much heartache to accept her problem, and then to accept her recovery. It never gets bogged down in too much sickly sentiment, because it's too realistic to become sickly; it's a serious film about a serious problem that tackles it as best it can, making a moving drama in the process. Not to mention the undying quote shouted at one in the morning:

"Can't you keep the noise down? People are trying to have SEX up here!"

Paul Hardy

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Screenings of this film:

1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)
1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)