Four Good Days is a movie about addiction and the toll that the cycle of rehab and relapse can take on relationships and family. We’ve seen it all before — many times in fact. And this one falls somewhere in the middle of the pack, buoyed by solid performances from Mila Kunis and Glenn Close as a mother and daughter navigating issues of trust and love, frustration and disappointment. It’s based on a true story by Pulitzer-Prize winning Washington Post writer Eli Saslow who co-wrote the screenplay with director Rodrigo García (Albert Nobbs, Mother and Child). For the most part, Four Good Days sticks remarkably close to the narrative featured in the 2016 Post article.
The film opens with 31-year-old Molly (Kunis) at her mother Deb (Close) and step-father’s doorstep, begging for help to get clean. They’ve heard the pleas before. Many times. And been burned. Molly’s been addicted to drugs for more than a decade. It’s cost her everything – including custody of her two children. As much as Deb is wary of putting herself through what is sure to be another round of grief, she loves her daughter and can’t not try. One. last. time.
Molly’s been clean for three days. She needs a place to crash for four more. If she can stay clean for a whole week, she can get a first shot of naltrexone, a monthly medication that helps prevent relapse. So Deb sets some ground rules and Molly moves in. The next four days are an emotional rollercoaster where life and death truly do hang in the balance.
It’s impossible not to care what happens to Molly, even if we have seen similar scenarios play out on the big screen with greater emotional impact – including Beautiful Boy with Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell, and Ben is Back with Lucas Hedges and Julia Roberts. Both of those films came out in close proximity in 2018 and are superior to Four Good Days. But it is interesting to see Mila Kunis take on a role she can sink her teeth into — even if Molly’s teeth are rotted out from drug abuse. She’s come a long way from “That 70s Show.”