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Sarah Silverman stars as Laney in I Smile Back.

Broad Green Pictures

2 out of 4 stars

Title
I Smile Back
Written by
Paige Dylan, Amy Koppelman
Directed by
Adam Salky
Starring
Sarah Silverman, Josh Charles, Thomas Sadoski
Classification
18A
Country
USA
Language
English
Year
2015

If you are shocked by the exploits of a married woman who a) does drugs, b) sleeps around and c) can't seem to stand her cookie-cutter family, then you probably don't get out much.

Yet Adam Salky's new drama asks us to stand, mouths agape, as we watch Laney (Sarah Silverman) endure a pattern of self-destruction that would be familiar to anyone who's seen American Beauty or opened up a John Cheever novel or simply visited the suburbs.

As the wounded and desperate Laney, Silverman delivers a knockout performance – any memories of her scatalogical stand-up act are washed away in an instant. But her intense commitment to the depths of depression belongs in a better, more focused, less derivative film.

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