Reviews for I Smile Back ( ) 1080p

IMDB: 6.1 / 10


Great piece of work. Bad reviews here ? Get your stupid head out of your ass ! You wouldn't know a good movie if it bit you in the face. Go watch Rambo or something more to your immature nature . This is a class act film .

Simply Breathtaking

This movie is really something. I didn't really know what to expect, I did know it wasn't a comedy despite featuring Silverman.

I was unprepared for just how good this was going to be.

Silverman is amazing in this.

Its very honest and uncompromising and is better because of it.

There are a couple of moments of humour (when discussing balls for a few minutes) but they are a little unintentional. Silverman plays this completely straight.

Its a film of heartache and heartbreak and not one to be missed!!

Soulless people failing to stand up for themselves.

Every scene is bad acting lined with every evil spirit the director & cast could muster. Depression, staring, snide attacks, being disconnected with people who are supposed to be family and no one doing anything about it, blank soulless speaking.

On top of that you have Josh Charles who thought it'd be great to play an aggressive coward and normalise it, with every line towards his partner, Silverman, as a fake, snide, misogynistic attack. Every scene with energy is a coward acting tough.

Silverman plays a depressed version of herself going through the motions and failing to stand up for herself properly.

There is nothing for anybody in this movie... And now we know a little bit more about the peple who made it.

Sahra Silverman, the person, was a character in the film

Sarah Silverman the comedian is always, as are most of today's performers, using comedy as a drug, a treatment for existential dread. "If I can make them laugh, I'm alive, I'm part of something that's vibrant, no matter how I may feel deep inside."

This is why we are transfixed by comedy, which is why "I Smile Back" was absolutely entrancing for me. Her character, Laney, was treading water, dealing with her desires, fears, disappointments in a way that, if played for the release of laughter, could have been very close to the Sarah persona.

In this film we saw Sara's nude body, but no more so than we see her uncovered in her comedy persona. This short film, an hour and a half, is built on this person we know, had there been a slight variation, such as abandonment by her father when she was nine years old.

Laney, never had a father, or the sense of unconditional love that would allow her to be with a crowd of friends sharing the contradictions of existence, and turning the moment, by wit and wisdom, into loving laughter.

Laney, could never get over her hurt by the Dad she had loved, and then he was gone, never to contact her again. She sought the love in raw unfeeling sex, reproducing the rejection and loss of her father, with the men who had just given her sexual pleasure.

Sorry for the dissection of this film, one that went beyond entertainment, to the sense of sharing a life, that tragic as it was, was how things are for more people than we can imagine.

When you have to wonder where up is

I've always loved Sarah Silverman's gutsy and honest presentation of herself. If she was to bump into me in the street and demand that I listen to whatever she wanted to say, I would willingly be stuck there, until whenever she was done, solely because of her wit and honesty.

I Smile Back is a whole new venture, in that the character she plays, while having the strength of defensive belligerence, is actually completely at a loss about how to play a proper part in the world that she thought she always wanted, mostly due to the fact that there is another world that she secretly left behind.

There is no bravado lone comic at play here--just a brave actress delivering a difficult and unattractive character, who remains nonetheless sympathetic--whether or not the audience is aware of Sarah Silverman.

An incomplete narrative - it goes nowhere

I'm a fan if Sarah Silverman. I do see her boldness, and spirit of "going for it" in this performance. However, I am disappointed to say that the movie doesn't go anywhere, or do anything. There isn't really a "story" in the sense of a narrative, with a beginning, middle, and end - even an artsy, unconventional, or avant-garde beginning, middle, and end.

This movie just lays there, static. It's really just a tiny snapshot of a sad and profoundly dysfunctional life, albeit an impactful and striking snapshot. While the dysfunction was portrayed accurately and with some skill, we need more.

It's like showing us a photo of a close-up of some water, and saying "Behold - the mighty Mississippi!" One would need to show more to convey riverness. Or, to expand the corny analogy theme further (sorry), it's like a one-note waltz. That might be a GREAT note! But to be a waltz, you need three notes.

beneath the suburban surface

The underbelly of the suburban lifestyle is a common theme in cinema. The genre is called suburban Gothic. "American Beauty" is probably the most famous example; others include "The Ice Storm" and "The Oranges" are others. "I Smile Back" takes a different approach to the subject. In a markedly different role from her usual acts, Sarah Silverman plays an upper-middle-class wife whose seemingly perfect existence hides her struggles with mental illness and drug usage.

Silverman's unglamorous performance creates a true-to-life despondent character. With this role she shows herself to be a versatile actress. And let me tell you, it's a gritty role. Her character is one of the most self-destructive ever put on screen. Good support comes from the other cast members, but this is definitely Silverman's movie. When I first learned of her from her comedy acts, I never would've imagined her playing a serious role, but she does a great job at it. I highly recommend the movie.

How should an ideal mother behave when she's haunted by her bad past.

The film is about a small family of two little kids and their parents, but all the focus was on the mother who is a drug addict and struggling with mental illness, yet care a lot for her children. But how long this happy family stays that way is the film going to reveal in its entire narration.

Based on the book of the same name, half a million budget film, has a decent cast who have given their best for it. This is not a film you watch to enjoy, but a film about the families around us. This is a depiction of the real world story, like not all the families are happier as we see them from the outside. There are some secrets in them, which sets a bad example for their own children once they come to know the true nature of their parents. But some would decide to fight hard to make everything come back to the normal and some won't. That is where film derives, how it all ends makes this film unique from the other similar ones.

I think this film was decent with an important topic. Not everyone would end up happy with their watch, because the story won't end up as they thought. The novel was written by a woman, so this is a woman's perspective tale and quite neatly told story. Not a bad direction or the screenplay, surprising the production quality was too good. Seems it is a quite family type film for involving kids, certainly the theme was very strong, so definitely for adults only. It is neither worth nor a waste of time, only if you come across to it and has no other choice, you can give it try.


Prepare To Be Surprised

Laney (Sarah Silverman) is part of what appears to be a wonderful family; a doting husband, two lovely kids living in a large, beautiful home. Those thoughts led me to the truth of it all as, Laney traveled into her personal abyss. The surprise is Silverman's performance. Best known for lighter, comedic fare: "Who's The Caboose?", "School of Rock" and "Wreck It Ralph", Silverman delivers an award worthy performance. I was fixated on her talents displayed here. Who knew that a primarily stand-up comedienne, could play such a difficult role so convincingly. Josh Charles and Thomas Sadowski are adequate in their roles, but this is Silverman's movie. Strictly for adult viewing and highly entertaining for those of us who are able to endure a dark drama, I do recommend "I Smile Back".

Well played by Silverman, well told as a family story

What you've heard is correct: Silverman shows proof of talent for dramatic roles as well. I like her comedic style and goofy standoffish stage persona, which got me curious about this film. The story rings true for the likeliness of family environments and the related social issues of prescription drug abuse, street drug use and so on. What I appreciated are both the inevitable scenario that comes to fore once the lifesavers of love and detox aren't enough to keep the protagonist from drowning in her own misery and the limited sympathy that's allowed for said protagonist, who's unwilling to reach for said lifesavers thrown at her, sliding instead into her lonely abyss.

Will hit close to home for a lot of people

I came into watching 'I Smile Back' having recently come out of a relationship with a woman suffering from severe depression, both having younger children from previous relationships. I was aware of her depression right from the start and it wasn't an issue as it never manifested, up until the last 5-6 months that is. For the 85 minutes this film played, it was like I was watching my life played out by Josh Charles and my partners by Sarah Silverman. Almost perfectly Adam Salky's adaptation of Amy Koppelman's semi-biographical novel highlights and encapsulates the rigors and devastation depression can have on someone's life and the loved ones around them.

As the film goes on and you are rooting for Silverman's character to get it together, get healthy, and be happy; the most common questions that keep reoccurring (as in my own experience) are how much is depression to blame for the erratic behavior, the self-destruction, the poor life choices, the hurting of others? Where does the depression end and the person begin? What should be forgiven and what cannot be? Coming from a position of clear bias and sympathy for the husband, I 100% related to being in that position that he is doing everything he can to help her, he clearly loves her and wants his family to be happy together. Often, love and good intentions are not enough in these scenarios, and decisions need to be made about whether to keep fighting in the hope things get better or to let it go so it doesn't destroy everyone. 'I Smile Back' really balances these questions so there's no clear right answers.

I was a little wary initially of Sarah Silverman being in the title role. Even with her previous serious roles I still felt that in your face, over-the-top personality wanting to burst out. Not in this. She nails it, and really makes you feel every emotional high and low. Unlucky not to be recognized by the Academy this year.

My only criticism is something which I rarely ever say about movies, is that I wish it was longer. I think the affect and anxiety that his mother's depression had on the eldest boy needed to be explored even more. We only get a very surface level of symptoms and afflictions of the child, and it would have been fascinating to get more on what affect it was having in his and his sister's life. I would have also liked a little more of a POV perspective of the husband and how he handled everything.

Overall, a very realistic and relatable projection of a debilitating and devastating condition.

A performance that Silverman just nails but a movie that tries too hard to push its agenda, without needing to.

"Don't you want to be happy?" Laney Brooks (Silverman) is a mother, wife, and depressed drug addict/alcoholic. She is happy when she is taking care of her kids, but when she is alone she doesn't know how to cope with life and it begins to affect every aspect of her life. She tries rehab and confronting her past in an effort to cure herself. This is not a happy movie, at all. Let me just open with that. Sarah Silverman delivers an Oscar worthy performance and the movie is worth watching just for that. The movie itself though tries to just force its subject down your throat and ends up becoming to "messagey" to have the impact it wants. That is a real problem because if they backed off on trying to show how bad things can get and just relied on Silverman's performance it would have had more of an impact. Overall, a performance that Silverman just nails but a movie that tries too hard to push its agenda, without needing to. I give this a B-.

TIFF40 2015 Film Review: I Smile Back

One of the most fascinating and wholly satisfying moments of Hollywood cinema is being present during that moment when a prominent and famous comedy actor transitions from their comfortable, recognizable and iconic genre to that of a raw and unglamorous dramatic role. Luckily for us, such is the case for the quick witted, dirtied tongue comedy actress Sarah Silverman, in her latest film I Smile Back.

Silverman, who completely transforms her usual charm and infamous devilish smile in favour of Laney Brooks, is revelatory as a woman who suffers from a chemical imbalance and deep rooted physiological issues that greatly affect the people she loves most around her.

The self-destructive archetype is not uncommon in the American indie film scene, yet, Silverman brings a new high to a character relishing in the ultimate lows.

Supported by her loving insurance selling husband Bruce Brooks (Josh Charles) and her adorable children Eli (Skylar Gaetner) and Janey (Shayne Coleman), Laney is a ticking time bomb of insecurity, trouble and instability. Regardless of their efforts to induct Laney into rehabilitation for her drug use, her obvious daddy issues and secret double life as a violent, punishment seeking nymphomaniac, Laney tries over and over again to fit in without much success.

I Smile Back, a novel by Amy Koppelman, written for the screen by Koppelman and Paige Dylan, is the ultimate Silverman shedding her comedy skin drama vehicle. Every aspect of the film is held together, driven forward and rewarded by the strong performance of Silverman. Whether she's on the floor tripping out, cutting the crusts off her children's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or finding solace in a wellness centre, Silverman's role unabashedly demands our attention. Silverman's performance is a big smile and hit in the right direction for a comedy actress no one ever took seriously before.

The film itself, directed by Adam Salky, has its glimmers of interesting commentaries that are mostly left unexplored and empty. The possibility of Laney's medical imbalance being passed on to her eldest son is one of the few directions that the film takes that the audience is surely interested in. Eli, who begins to show very similar character traits, including flinching eyes, and some signs during a piano recital, are thwarted by Laney's passion to failure. Not that we are complaining, but I Smile Back is one example of a film where its runtime could have extended a bit longer to blossom these narrative possibilities.

I Smile Back is a daunting character piece on just how much someone is willing (or able) to screw up every aspect of their lives, despite having the most amazing and supportive people around them. Salky, who balances many engrossing images of filth and despicable behaviour by Laney, does a masterful job of juxtaposing beautiful scenes of family when Laney seems to be rehabilitated, including a fantastic family scene involving a cake and some candles.

While the light reminds on, its dim and dark presence seems to overshadow the film as a whole from beginning to end. I Smile Back is a film that allows audiences to face their own personal terrors and allowing yourself to get what you want from them. The feature is a personal reflection of the things we want to see in ourselves, and the disgusting character traits we can help but ignore.

Lacey's character goes through the crossroads, literally and figuratively, in calmness and in a frenzy. Like a whirlwind, Silverman is a tycoon of raw and fleshy emotion that isn't usually expected for a comedienne's first time dramatic role.

With an impressive supporting cast that includes The Newsroom's Thomas Sadoski, Terry Kinney as a very real and impressive therapist who delivers some of the best and most quote worthy lines of the film, I Smile Back is a film worth smiling for, despite its heavy handed and opaque exterior. Sadly, Charles is highly underutilized as Laney's husband and never given his due time. Instead, Charles is just left giving his best impression of Keanu Reeves and serves as a dull supporting character to the vivaciously catastrophic Laney.

Beauty is a hard theme to find in I Smile Back, yet, as Laney's therapist reassures her in her early stages of her recovery, "Every moment of beauty fades?but, there's more and more and more of those moments. You just need to be alive to see them". Dark, depressing and sickened by sadness, I Smile Back may break your heart, but Silverman's performance will have you smiling back from ear to ear in utter satisfaction.


Movies can teach us about life- When I was a teenager I watched (experienced) Days of Wine and Roses. Jack Lemon was a great comedian, but his serious dramatic performance probably turned me and others away from becoming alcoholic.

I've always enjoyed Sarah Silverman's strong comedy which is grounded in hard reality. We laugh because we see truth in new ways.

Stephen King could not create a more wrenchingly emotional story about the horror of personal depression. And the danger of deceit, anger and unrelenting despair. There are things in life that can't be controlled and the real horror is when they come from inside us.

Sarah Silverman's professional dramatic performance is magnificent. I can't wait for more from her- drama or comedy or both.

A pulverizing tale of despair

Sarah Silverman had absolutely no business pulling off the performance she did. I Smile Back follows the story of a tenderly distressed mother who can't seem to fully absorb her childhood troubles. Its astonishing to think of Gena Rowlands' character in John Cassettes' A Women Under the Influence in the same category as this. However, I am bewildered as to why the rating is significantly low on this film. Although there could have been a little more context behind Laney's past, Silverman dealt with what she got and delivered in a way that no one was prepared for.

The academy would be inane to omit her of an Oscar nomination.

A look into a dark mental labyrinth

First I must state my perception, my image, my imagination of Sarah Silverman is permanently altered! Thanks a lot Sarah! From a wickedly funny actress to depressingly serious actress - all at once! Sarah Silverman gives a performance in 'I Smile Back' that will both confuse and unsettle her fans.

Thanks to Sarah Silverman and fellow cast members Director: Adam Salky and writer: Paige Dylan have successfully brought to the screen a story that is a look into the dark mental labyrinth of an upper middle class housewife and her marriage to a successful man that has placed great value on image. There is no real beginning and no defined end to this story. The doors are suddenly open to this family and we are given a slice of their life and then the door is shut. We the viewer will never know when Laney Brooks mental decay starts nor when or if it ever stops. We see her as she is at this moment in her life.

Laney Brooks (Sarah Silverman) wife of Bruce Brooks (Josh Charles) live a most above average life with two very young delightful children. All seems provided for - beautiful home, beautiful parents, a very high end school for the charming and talented children. BUT as the saying goes 'still waters run deep' and all is not what it seems to be in this idyllic setting. Laney suffers an unaddressed need in her mind that she and we cannot comprehend. There is a pivotal scene where Laney tells her husband that she has some things, dark things, to tell him. He in-turn doesn't want to hear this and surrounds himself with the children eating cake and cookies. He only wants the that which is sweet and nice. As seen in Laney's expression this is yet another hurtle she cannot cross.

Sarah Silverman offers a very mysterious and dark performance in this depressing story.

A Beautiful Tragedy

This is going to be a short review because I'm going to name a few titles that can compare to this film. Valley of The Dolls, Happiness, Leaving Las Vegas, and Requiem For A Dream. Here we see Sarah Silverman play a role that she's most likely done, experienced, or known a few people who ARE her character. She's the modern day soccer-mom-drug-addict, but I'd bet a lot of people be they men or women can relate to her.

It's not as much of an extreme-shock-value as Requiem or Happiness, but adds in some awesome sarcasm to make a plight of many adults nowadays. You might find yourself sympathizing with someone you hate, wanting to harm someone you love; even if you don't pop pills, snort drugs, forget your kid's lunches or cheat on your spouses. It's worth a watch, just not if you're in for a laugh... Unless you can conquer the darkness within yourself before you giggle.

Dark, deep, and moving

I am a 28 year old male, and this movie touched on a lot of issues I have struggled with in depression, mostly drugs and continuing to be destructive regardless of how much pain it causes. I teared up many times in the movie, Sarah was excellent. If you are looking for a happy movie, this is not it, and if you didn't care about the characters in the movie you obviously have little to no sympathy for people struggling with clinical depression. This was a very realistic observation of how one finds it extremely hard to see through life's struggles, and how some people are just never see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Silverman's scarily good in this role - sick-joke-funny when the behavior supports it, raw yet subtle at Laney's most reckless junctures.
A tough, unbending, sometimes brutally truthful profile of one woman's addiction and the havoc it wreaks on herself and just about everyone who matters to her.