The Rehab Movie “A Million Little Pieces” Falls Flat

Drama films are known to deliver the best performances from the most popular actors of this time. These films usually involve social problems, family tragedies, and personal conflicts. In the wake of the US opioid crisis, a genre of literature that heavily involves dealing with substance abuse and its effects toward oneself and the community has become popular. The emotional stories of rehabilitated men and women are written in pages of books and later, make into heart-wrenching films. This genre not only opens our eyes to the struggle of the people in the opioid crisis but also reminds us, how accepting ourselves in our most vulnerable form, can be the most cathartic experience.

Pieces put together

One of the films that fall into the drug-related genre is A Million Little Pieces directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. It tells the story of a young drug addict who is making an effort to quit his addiction by checking into a rehabilitation center. The movie stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the main character James Frey.

The films starts in the early ‘90s where James Frey is brought home after a drug-induced accident. His things are packed and he was decided to be sent off to a rehabilitation center by his brother Bob Frey played by Charlie Hunnam. Inside the facility, James forms friendship with the other patients including Leonard, a mafia boss played by Billy Bob Thorton, and Lilly, another drug addict like himself played by Odessa Young. Leonard plays an important role in James’ recovery as he serves as mentor and confidant to James. And despite not being allowed by the facility to mingle with the opposite sex, James finds love in Lilly.  

However, a tragedy strikes and James falls in a dark downward spiral to self-destruction. It seemed to be unrecoverable at first, but James perseveres and fights back. After much struggle, James finally bounces back and does not relapse again.

What goes behind the movie

The movie is heavily based on the book A Million Little Pieces by James Frey that was supposed to be a memoir of his time as a drug addict until journalists exposed the author his fabrications. Frey refutted all claims against his work. However, Warner Bros. withheld the right because of this and decided to shelf the project for a period of time.

In 2017, the project was picked up and decided to have director Sam Taylor-Johnson at the helm. However, this did not save the movie from its inevitable demise as the story is lack-luster and flat. 

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