Movies and television are meant to whisk us away into a far-off place where we don’t have to think about our problems. They’re meant as a pleasure or distraction from the problems we’re facing every day. Not only that, but sometimes they can be relatable, making us feel like we’re not alone in those problems we’re facing.
In the best of movies, we can see ourselves in the characters, place ourselves in their shoes. For addicts, watching other addicts go through tough times and then recover can be uplifting or inspiring. If you’re struggling with alcoholism or have a loved one who is, and you’re looking for a movie that not only documents addiction properly but is enjoyable to watch, here are five!
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Top 5 Films About Alcoholism
5. 28 Days (2000)
28 Days starring Sandra Bullock shows an alcoholic who works for a newspaper in New York. The movie documents her trials and tribulations as she deals with being a working woman and an addict. During the film, Bullock’s character enters rehab after ruining her sister’s wedding and stealing (and crashing) a limousine.
Bullock’s character is extremely resistant to any treatment she’s offered while in rehab and refuses to admit that she has an addiction throughout the film. This reflects the real feelings of addicts well, showing how hard it is to admit a problem is occurring in the first place.
4. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
If you’re looking for a film that’s going to make you laugh, Little Miss Sunshine is definitely a great option. With an all-star cast, this film does a great job of being funny and rewarding with a great story.
Little Miss Sunshine isn’t about addiction, but it is present in the background in the form of heroin addiction. Little Miss Sunshine is great at documenting the issues of each family member and how they affect each other.
3. A Star is Born (2018)
If you’re looking for a musical, A Star is Born is a great option. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper star in this award-winning film about addiction amongst celebrities. Both characters battle with addiction, one with substance abuse and the other with alcohol.
A Star is Born has been criticized in the addiction community for failing to show addiction treatment accurately, but others state that it does a great job of showing how addiction can affect someone and the people around them.
2. Clean and Sober (1988)
Clean and Sober is an older movie that depicts addiction fairly and accurately. Its entire premise is, “this could happen to anyone”, which is true of addiction in real life as well. In Clean and Sober, the main character is forced to take an introspective look at how their life has spun out of control. While in treatment, he struggles every step of the way.
Clean and Sober definitely doesn’t depict the ideal recovery story, but it does plant some hopeful seeds along the way. It does a great job of depicting an addict who struggles and has a hard time getting, well, clean and sober.
1. Trainspotting (1996)
Trainspotting is well known in the addiction community, as it’s often referenced as being the best addiction movie of all time. This film accurately portrays a society that’s addicted to heroin. Often referred to as a work of art, this film shows how truly difficult it can be to stop taking drugs, especially when you’re constantly surrounded by other drug users.
It also does a great job of showcasing the consequences of addiction and what it means to choose a sober lifestyle over a drug-ridden one.
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