When A Man Loves A Woman
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -2 1/2

For this heartrending film, viewers will need huge boxes of tissues. Alice Green (Meg Ryan) is a divorced schoolteacher who is overwhelmed by alcoholism. Her new husband, Michael (Andy Garcia), an airline pilot, tries to understand, but Alice complains that he's never there to help. Meanwhile, the two young daughters bear the brunt of their mother's drunken bouts. After Alice collapses in the shower and is hospitalized, Michael checks her into an alcohol treatment center in southern California. Frustrations and tensions escalate as Alice goes through the lengthy detoxification process, leaving Michael to cope with the kids. His faithful Oriental babysitter, Amy, shares the major part of the household chores. After a shouting match with Michael, she leaves him to fend for himself. Michael finally realizes the importance of understanding, compassion and listening.

This is a difficult, emotionally heavy film that presents realistic themes in a sensitive manner. It clearly portrays the destructive effect alcoholism has on families. Yet, the film has some major flaws. AA support meetings for family members are shown, but not the ones for the alcoholics. Alice does not turn to a "higher power," a key element in AA, but attempts to pull herself up by her own bootstraps. Apparently, the filmmakers still do not want to show the life-changing power of God. Both Alice and Michael use obscenities and regular profanities over and over. Another reason for the film's "R" rating is its adult theme and occasional sexually suggestive incidents and dialogue. Yet, adults who have never been exposed to the evils of alcoholism can learn from this experience.

Preview Reviewer: Fran Smith
Distributor: Buena Vista Distribution, 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

Crude Language: Several (7) times - Mild 4, Moderate 3
Obscene Language: Many (22) times (s-word 8, f-word 12; others 2)
Profanity: Several (9) times - Regular 6, Exclamatory 3
Violence: Few times - Mild and Moderate (slap face; overturn table, car vandalized)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied 3 times (married couple)
Nudity: Once (female rear nudity); near nudity (low cut necklines)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (married woman kisses man not her husband; remarks about sex act and woman's body)
Drug Abuse: Many times (alcoholic, drunken woman, but not condoned; social drinking and smoking)
Other: Themes of personal responsibility and compassion; power of God ignored
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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