Indie Gems: I Smile Back

Putting up a good front.

Laney (Sarah Silverman) is her own worst enemy. It's hinted that she's suffered from some type of mental illness for awhile. Possibly depression and bipolar disorder. At this point in her life, married to a supportive husband, Bruce (Josh Charles) with two children, she's just being destructive. She drinks too much, sneaks into her bathroom to snort cocaine, she's having an affair with a friend. After all of this comes crashing down, Laney goes to treatment in an attempt to get things back to normal.

Silverman was a surprise SAG nominee for this role, though after seeing it, it's no surprise at all. She was great. I knew she had dramatic chops in her when I saw her supporting role in Take This Waltz. Here she commands every second of screen time and was so believable in playing an addict. An especially weird one, mind you. There's a few really uncomfortable scenes in here. Josh Charles is also very realistic as the supportive husband whose patience keeps being tested. 

If I had one issue with the film, it was the ending. The run time is only 80 or so minutes and I felt like there was more that could've been covered. It was poignant, but I wanted a bit more resolve from it.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Don't fall in love" - Laney (Sarah Silverman)


  1. Nice review. I admired Sarah Silverman's performance in this but the film just didnt strike a chord with me

    1. She's very talented. I hated her stand up years ago, but she grew on me, and I'm glad she's getting these opportunities to show how much depth she has as an actress.

  2. Haven't seen this one, yet, but I have wanted to ever since I heard of it a few months back. I think Silverman is an underrated actress so I'm looking forward to her work here. Great review.


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