This week, I’m going to do a twofer: two recovery-themed movies in a row. This 1988 classic (not well-known, but it should be) stars Michael Keaton as Daryl Poynter, a hotshot Philadelphia real estate salesperson who, in his office hours, likes to indulge in booze, cocaine, and casual sex, often simultaneously.
As the movie opens, he’s picked up a young lady in a mall and took back to his place for a night of debauchery. The next morning, she’s dead in his bed from a cocaine overdose. The police are investigating and tell him to “stay close to home.” At work, he’s borrowed $92,000 from an escrow account to invest in the market, and has lost most of it. He needs to escape – fast.
While simultaneously driving around and pouring liquor from a bottle, he hears about an anonymous drug rehab program on the radio, so he thinks that’s a perfect hiding spot. It turns out to be his crossroads, because he begins to learn that he suffers from the disease of addiction.
Daryl’s promiscuous, and that habit carries over to his visit at the rehab center. He hits on a few women, and after some struggle, gets the attention of Charlie, another addict who’s in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend Lenny.
After they leave the rehab center, Daryl’s embraced a sober life and he wants to enjoy this life with Charlie, who just can’t leave Lenny. Eventually, they sleep together and it seems Charlie and Daryl will live “happily ever after”, but Lenny’s manipulated her into coming back to him. Charlie’s screen time ends as she snorts a line of coke while driving and is slammed into by an oncoming car.