One of the movies I’m really looking forward to this year is Smashed, the tale of a semi-functioning alcoholic who struggles to stay on the wagon while their spouse continues to party and be entirely unsupportive. It looks dark and unflinching and has already gotten glowing reviews from TIFF and other festivals.
This is not that movie.
Because there must always be balance in Hollywood, the very serious movie I’ve described above is now being countered by a romantic comedy, also about alcoholism, starring Justin Timberlake. Variety reports that everyone’s favorite ex-boybander is in talks to star in The Last Drop: He’ll play a food critic for New York Magazine who covers up his alcoholism with his charm, it sounds like. But of course, when he meets his dream girl he has to actually try and get his self-destructive addiction under control.
I’m a little wary since such a touchy subject is the central focus of a comedy, but MTV Movie Blogs points out that The Last Drop was an honoree on the 2011 Black List of most liked unproduced screenplays of that year. That pedigree comforts me a bit. But really, who am I kidding by being wary? We all know I love JT in rom-coms based solely on his performance in last year’s Friends with Benefits. He’s believably earnest, he doesn’t hesitate to poke fun at himself, and he still brings enough depth to a role (like with his dad’s dementia subplot). Plus, we got a glimpse of a darker Justin when he played Sean Parker spiraling out of control in The Social Network. I trust him to take a role like this seriously.