I Smile Back

Rated 2.0

Sarah Silverman gives an impressive dramatic performance in a movie offering up dime store psychology in this clumsy effort from director Adam Salky. Silverman is Laney, a troubled housewife married to successful insurance man Bruce (Josh Charles, supremely awesome in this year's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp). She has it all, but some daddy issues have left her an emotional wreck, guzzling wine, snorting drugs in the bathroom, and screwing strangers in basements. Things get even worse when she decides to quit taking her lithium. Salky's directorial style is, at best, flat, which doesn't serve the sincere effort by Silverman. The comedic actress shows she can easily handle the heavy stuff, but Laney's story is well worn and not interesting. The mistake is in trying to explain her behavior based on her past. Sometimes, things are better left for the audience to figure out. The clichés are bountiful in this one, and they wind up stranding Silverman in a wasteful movie. (Available for rent on iTunes, Amazon.com and On Demand during a limited theatrical release.)