Projections - Movie Reviews

When a Man Loves a Woman

When a Man Loves a Woman stars Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia as Alice and Michael Green, a couple who share a deep love for each other and for their two young daughters.  The strength of their love is tested to its limits when Alice's drinking progresses to a debilitating alcohol problem.  When Alice and Michael confront the reality of Alice's condition and agree on seeking professional help, they do so with hope and determination, never suspecting how difficult it will be for them to heal as individuals and as a family.

In seeking sobriety, the couple must turn their backs on the dysfunctional roles they played in the past and work on building a solid, healthy new relationship.  This process is difficult for both Alice and Michael since they must release their hold on each other to allow growth and healing to take place in their individual lives.  In a co-dependent relationship, the couple functions as one, leaving no room for loneliness or individual growth.  Letting go of this strong interdependence while seeking to establish a new kind of framework for their family was a great challenge; one that could have enfolded more completely and convincingly if the film was longer.

Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia are excellent in their portrayal of this struggling couple.  You'll want to see them succeed in working things out and you will truly empathize with their pain.  The children are also well cast and I was particularly impressed by young Tina Marjorino who had a strong presence as the older of the two daughters, Jess.

The film's producer, Jordan Kerner, has championed many issue-oriented projects.  As he says regarding this latest effort, "Family in the 90's is really about the taking of responsibility for each other.  And if someone in the family has a weakness of spirit, a dependence or an abuse of a substance, it shouldn't end in divorce or divisiveness -- it should end in people loving each other and helping the other to get the kind of care they need."

This film is rated R for its adult theme and profanity.

When a Man Loves a Woman


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