Director Adam Salky’s film, co-written by the source material’s novelist Amy Koppelman, pushes the comic actress to the brink as suburban mom Laney, who’s barely able to maintain a facade of normalcy. She’s a manic depressive who, after taking the kids to school or putting them to bed, plunges into an abyss of drug and sex addiction unknown to her husband (Josh Charles). And then she falls down one more time.
This upsetting movie, even when careening into melodrama, is a real showcase for Silverman, who embodies a frittered woman willingly complicit in her own downfall, and who wants redemption — but not quite yet. Broad Green Pictures, which is supporting an awards campaign for Silverman, opens “I Smile Back” October 23.