M. Emmet Walsh
Covering the first 30 days of attempted recovery by middle-class cocaine addict Michael Keaton, Sober is sobering indeed, perhaps too grim.
Keaton carries his heavy load well enough, on screen a vast majority of time as a hotshot real estate executive whose cocaine use has gotten him $92,000 into hock on embezzled company money and into bed with a young girl dying of an overdose.
On the run, Keaton decides to hide out in a recovery hospital, attracted more by its policies of strict confidentiality than any desire for rehabilitation. There, he falls under the strict supervision of ex-junkie Morgan Freeman, which will do him good, but also develops a romantic interest in fellow recovering addict Kathy Baker, which won’t.
Sober chooses to focus on the couple’s shared attraction for each other (and cocaine), and follows them to a predictable end.
Clean and Sober
Imagine/Warner. Director Glenn Gordon Caron; Producer Tony Ganz, Deborah Blum; Screenplay Tod Carroll; Camera Jan Kiesser; Editor Richard Chew; Music Gabriel Yared;; Art Director Joel Schiller
(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 124 MIN.
M. Emmet Walsh
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