Thirteen Steps

If you thought Sandra Bullock was a wild thing in "Forces of Nature," check her out as the disheveled, alcoholic party girl Gwen in "28 Days." At her sister Lily's wedding she licks the hors d'oeuvres right off the tray, tumbles into the wedding cake, insults the bride and groom, hijacks their limo and crashes it into a house. Would you say this girl has a problem?

This is the movie's overstated opening, and its uncertain tone--pitched sloppily between farce and nightmare-- doesn't bode well for what is to come. Director Betty Thomas and writer Susannah Grant ("Erin Brockovich") want to rehabilitate the overly familiar rehab drama ("Clean and Sober," "When a Man Loves a Woman") by injecting it with a streak of gallows humor. It's a good idea in theory, but it requires more than synthetic sitcom humor. The laughs in "28 Days" are designed to distract us from the subject, not illuminate it. This is a movie afraid of its own shadows.

D.A.

28 DaysColumbia
Opens April 14

Thirteen Steps | News