The director's statement issued with “Smashed” reads, in part: "Being drunk can be really fun. It's just all the other things that come with being drunk that can be a downer (wrecking cars, lives, etc.) ... so many films that deal with
follow a familiar 'scared straight' path, depicting characters so damaged that they're not relatable, leaving the audience with nothing to do but gawk at their otherness.
This is why
Nick Offerman plays the vice principal who becomes Kate's confidant. He's smitten, haplessly, with this self-destructive woman, in part because he recognizes the behavior. And in part because she's played by Winstead, whom audiences may recognize as one of the eye candies from Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof" and from her droll turn as the pansexual tormentor in Edgar Wright's
Actresses of considerable promise and obvious beauty such as Winstead take roles such as this for obvious reasons; it's a chance to explore rather than merely decorate. Winstead is very good in "Smashed," though she's saddled with a merely adequate co-starring performance. As Charlie, Kate’s sodden husband, a man of limited ambition but unlimited capacity to avoid the elephant in any given room,
The script, which deals with job issues, parental issues (
But Winstead, for many, anyway, is enough.