Four days can whiz by in an average work week, but as this film clearly shows, sometimes it can be an eternity.
Mila Kunis plays Molly in “Four Good Days,” a woman addicted to heroin who’s hit rock bottom. Looking for an attempt to get sober, Molly turns to her mother, Deb (Glenn Close), who’s mostly cut ties with her daughter.
It soon comes to light that Molly has attempted to do this before and eventually fell through each time, creating a distrust between her and Deb. However, Deb learns that Molly can get an injection that will remove the ability for her to get high. To get the injection, though, Molly must stay sober for four straight days.
The core elements of this film’s story are based on a long-form article from the Washington Post about a woman dealing with her addiction. Because it’s not based on a narrative novel, though, a larger story had to be built around what was drawn from the article.
As a result, the film feels sort of stitched together, with some scenes feeling very raw and real, while others came across a bit more like a generic dramatization.
Despite existing as a sort of mishmash, though, “Four Good Days” actually comes through to be a better than average drama. The film thoroughly details the struggles of someone trying to overcome withdrawals, and it makes for an engrossing picture.
In my own coverage of the opioid/heroin issue, I’ve interviewed treatment counselors who’ve said “One of the things about opioids that’s so destructive is how ill people get when they’re coming down from it. It’s like the flu, times a hundred.” That certainly comes to the forefront here, as the movie showcases just how difficult trying to recover can be.
Not only does the movie explore what the recovery process is like for the addict, though, it also details the impacts on those around them. In that sense, “Four Good Days” is sort of a double character study, as the audience gets a good sense of what both Deb and Molly are going through.
What makes this character-centric approach work are the main leads Kunis and Close. Their acting talent really shines through and elevates this movie to a higher level.
As usual, Close is strong on screen, capturing the immense frustration and heartbreak her character is going through. Deb is a woman that loves her daughter and hopes for a brighter future, but is also weary from having been burned too many times.
Close is often overshadowed by Kunis, though, who gives arguably the best performance of her career. From the way she delivers lines to how she performs physically, Kunis convincingly portrays an addict on screen, and it’s heartbreaking to watch.
As an audience member, you want her to succeed, and become frustrated if there’s a setback. It’s a great sign of a good performance to bring out such emotions from a viewer.
Director Rodrigo Garcia’s background is mostly in television, and that does come through here somewhat, as some moments do feel more like a TV movie. However, the strong cast and the realness of the source material earn “Four Good Days” a winning score. 3.5 out of 5.