Join a Recovery Movie Meetup Online!
Date: Sunday April 9th
Time: 5pm PST / 8pm EST
Film: 28 DAYS
(Limited to first 100 Registrants)
WHY THIS FILM IS IMPORTANT:
Before 28 Days was released in 2000, Hollywood had only made one other mainstream film about the addiction rehab experience (Clean & Sober), but—although well received by the critics—that film didn’t catch on with the general public. With the inclusion of popular actress Sandra Bullock in the titular role in this film, combined with the director’s more lighthearted take on recovery, 28 Days became a commercial hit that also helped millions of people see that drug and alcohol rehab could be a positive, highly transformative experience.
PLOT OF THE FILM:
A successful journalist with a drinking and painkiller (Vicodin) problem goes to her sister’s wedding, disrupts the reception with her drunken behavior, and then crashes a car while driving under the influence. She checks herself into a rehab facility to avoid criminal prosecution where she slowly comes to grips with her problem and tries to heal with the help of a thoughtful counselor and a group of quirky fellow addicts also in recovery.
A BIT OF MOVIE TRIVIA:
28 Days opened at #2 in the U.S. Box Office, making it one of the most commercially successful films about addiction and recovery ever made. Sandra Bullock took the role as a way to show that she had range as an actress after being typecast as an action-movie sidekick in the movie Speed. The Oscar-nominated actress Melanie Griffith was originally considered for the role of Sandra Bullock’s sister, but the gig eventually went to Elizabeth Perkins.
Gwen Cummings (played by Sandra Bullock) likes to party at local bars with her boyfriend, Jasper, and their gang of drinking buddies. Her mother had an alcohol use disorder which caused her death when Gwen was quite young. Her drinking problem has estranged her from her sister, Lily. She’s a “too cool for school” type who doesn’t think she has a drinking or drug problem.
Jasper (played by Dominic West) is Gwen’s boyfriend and drinking buddy who doesn’t take Gwen’s problem seriously because it would force him to admit he has a problem too. He tries to convince her to just get through rehab, check a box, and go right back to drinking so that the “spark” will remain in their relationship.
Lily Cummings (played by Elizabeth Perkins) is Gwen’s sister who has lost patience for Gwen’s drunken behavior and tried to sever contact with her as much as possible to protect her own relationships and family.
Cornell Shaw (played by Steve Buscemi) is a recovering addict who is the main counselor at the rehab facility. He is a no-nonsense professional who knows all the lies and tricks patients will play in order to avoid confronting their addiction problems and not do the hard work of recovery.
ISSUES TO THINK ABOUT AS YOU WATCH THE FILM:
How common social activities for young professionals like bar-hopping and heavy drinking with friends can turn into serious problems for some
The various ways people in rehab try to lie and manipulate in order to exempt themselves from the process of recovery
The powerful role of mutual support meetings and strong social bonds in successful recovery
The influence of a parent’s past addiction on their son’s or daughter’s present day behaviors
How successful rehab has as much to do with honestly admitting you have a problem as it does with stopping the consumption of drugs and/or alcohol
Pick up a copy of the WORKBOOK to fill out awesome movie questionnaires and then share your answers in these meetings!
(Recommended, not required)