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It's Friday, let's get Smashed.

Or maybe not...

“You peed on me so I guess we're even” is standard waking up conversation for blurry eyed Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and her equally hungover husband Charlie (Aaron Paul).

Now everybody has the odd wild night out, waking up the next morning full of regret and cringing at the previous nights antics. But Kate and Charlie's whole life is based around their love for the liquor. Charlie works as a music journalist attending gigs and bars on a daily basis, always with a drink in hand and surrounded by friends of the same calibre. Kate is a primary teacher at an L.A school.

Being a responsible role model does not stop Kate from leading a destructive lifestyle. In just a few early scenes we see the troubled teacher drinking whisky from a hip flask in the schools's car park, downing pints of lager in the afternoon with Charlie, knocking back the tequila slammers and not forgetting an early morning theft of a bottle of red from a local convenience store.

Swapping the margaritas for mathematics one morning, Kate's party lifestyle gets the better of her when she falls to the floor and vomits in front of the class. One nervous pupil asks if she's pregnant and as quick cover up for her hungover state she announces to the class and the Principal that she is in fact expecting.

Principal Barnes is played by Megan Mullally who as if we need to tell you plays the fabulous Karen in Will and Grace. It's great to see Megan in a serious role and she plays the part well, it's also fantastically ironic that her character in the sitcom is known for drinking and one liners such as “Honey, you say potato, I say vodka.”

Sent home early from work Kate heads straight to the bar where her party lifestyle takes a dangerous turn. She meets a girl in need of a ride home and embarks on a boozy mini road trip where they end up smoking crack. The following morning, waking up in the middle of nowhere Kate realises it's time for to change, “the drinking leads to everything stupid that I do” she tells her husband and after advice from a colleague she attends AA.

Smashed follows Kate's battle with the booze and the difficulties she faces with lack of support from her party partner and husband who just wants to get hammered and continue his drunken ketchup soup eating ways. The movie also explores Kate's past and with a visit to her estranged mother it becomes apparent that Kate has always had negative drinking influences in her life. Whilst feeling alienated and having to deal with the pregnancy sub-plot she finds support in sponsor Jenny played by The Help's Octavia Spencer.

A few scenes in the movie prove difficult to watch but the outstanding performance by Mary Elizabeth makes you really feel for her character and you want her to succeed. There are a few situations that will make you gasp and some adult one liners which will make you laugh out loud. Now obviously we can't give away what happens but we can say is it's one of those movies where it gets to the end scene and you're thinking *please don't finish, please don't finish.*

Hopefully Mary Elizabeth Winstead will be nominated for an award for her incredible performance and we will definitely toast to that, swapping our cosmo for a coffee of course.

Here is the trailer for Smashed released 14th December:

Words: Benjamin Spence

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