Review by Camden Ferrell
Four Good Days had its premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. It is directed by Emmy nominee Rodrigo García, and it is written by García and Pulitzer Prize-winner Eli Saslow. Even though it features a great performance from Glenn Close, the movie is often bland and boilerplate in its treatment of drug addiction.
Molly is a long-time heroin addict who returns to her mother, Deb, when she decides she wants to be sober. She schedules an appointment to receive an opioid antagonist, an injection that would prevent her from getting high. However, this requires her to be clean for the next four days, so Molly is left with her mother trying to course correct her life. It’s a somewhat standard for an addiction movie, but it does have potential for some poignant examination of addiction and family.
García and Saslow’s script is uneven more than anything. Its dialogue isn’t always the most engaging, and it meanders more often than it should. There are a handful of good exchanges between Deb and Molly, but it doesn’t fully explore the depth and trauma that addiction inflicts on family.
The acting in this movie is the best part of the film. Mila Kunis delivers a decent but flawed portrayal of addiction as Molly. However, the highlight of the film is Glenn Close, who delivers a great performance as Deb. She plays the concerned and troubled mother very well, and she helps elevate her scenes even when the script is somewhat lackluster.
The movie feels like its just a rehashing of tropes in addiction movies, and it doesn’t feel like it has anything new to say. It’s a serious and relevant issue that doesn’t get the proper treatment. There was a lot of potential for Close and Kunis to have a heart to heart about her history of addiction and abuse, but instead this conversation is disappointingly limited.
In addition to the flaws in its writing, the cinematography and score leave a lot to be desired. It isn’t bad by any means, but it feels bland and doesn’t give the film any distinct personality. As a whole, the film lacks a lot of necessary components to make it memorable. It’s passable in many regards, but it creates an underwhelming experience that won’t impress most viewers.
There are a select few scenes that are executed well and are quite tense at times, but the movie fails to extend this energy to other scenes throughout. A lot of the film is carried by Close’s performance, and it helps compensate for a movie that seems to squander the potential of its relevant story.
Four Good Days is a drug addiction movie that may be too melodramatic for its own good, but it is an adequate film in many regards. Close delivers a great performance despite a lackluster and boilerplate treatment of the subject. It’s not a bad film, but it’s a film that had a lot of untapped potential.
Four Good Days is in theaters April 30.