Clean and Sober (1988)

Directed by Glen Gordon

Starring Michael Keaton, Morgan Freeman, Kathy Baker

I have to start by saying that I am a big fan of Michael Keaton and in the 80’s he was making big movies. He was Batman in two films and he was the lovable ghost in Beetlejuice. He made comedies like Mr. Mom, and drama films like The Paper, My life. Recently he made a big comeback with his great performance in Birdman and Spider-Man Homecoming. This movie was one I was not allowed to see at the time it came out and I never got around to see it, using the time on my hands now I decided to finally see it. 

Michael Keaton plays Darryl, a real estate salesman who is addicted to drugs. One morning a girl overdoses on his bed, he finds himself in trouble for taking 90,000 dollars from an escrow. Needing a place to hide he hears of a rehabilitation program that offers confidentiality because no one could know where he is, Darryl enters the program. At first, he is reluctant to admit that he has a problem but after a while, he begins to improve his life. Once he goes out he tries to make his life better. 

Was it worth the wait, yes it was. I like films that are character studies. The film has no big plot twist, it is just a look at the lives of these characters. The film does a great job of making us care about these characters and even Darryl that at the start of the film is such a horrible state and treats others badly. The film shows the low the comes from addiction but also in a realistic way how hard it is to get back up again. I like that the movie focuses on both sides of the process, the program itself and the part where they go back to the world. 

The film’s main attraction for me was Michael Keaton. Here is where he first showed he could take dramatic roles. He was great in the film. Keaton’s performance was well-reviewed and I have to agree. There can’t be anything new in a film like this because of what it deals with but each film brings a different perspective and this one deals more with the addition of needing the help and the process of truly recovering. Something Keaton portrayed so well through his performance. He had a good supporting cast. Morgan Freeman starred as the counselor, Kathy Baker as another patient in rehab with Darryl. 

It is not a happy film in that not everything is resolved with a happy ending but it is an interesting look at what people with addiction go through. Finally glad I saw it. 

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