“The top of the 8th Inning is brought to you by Peppy’s brand Amphetamines: the official upper of the Boston Red Sox.
‘I’m Jackie Bradley Jr. When I’m chasing down a fly ball in the gap, I like to have some Pep in my step. That’s why I take Peppy’s Amphetamines before every game!’”
Thank goodness real life is not like this.
It would make life harder if the addictive drugs I like were fully legal. It would stink if there were commercials for them on television. It would be incredibly hard to quit if there were narcotics stores in every town.
To me, that’s a Twilight Zone nightmare. For an alcoholic, that’s our world.
“The Lost Weekend” vividly shows us the hopelessness of life as a druggie when our whole society is your dealer. It is a mature, insightful exploration of alcoholism.
Don Birnam is a wanna-be writer who moved in with his brother in New York City a few years ago. But Don never wrote and he never got a job. He just drank and drank.
The understated genius of “The Lost Weekend” is that Don does not confront any plot twists or contrived obstacles. His life is really fantastic: he’s young, good-looking, and he has people who love him. But Don doesn’t appreciate any of it.
One of the saddest things about addiction is that you don’t enjoy the special moments of your life; you just wait for them to pass. There’s a terrific scene where Don goes to the opera. He has a bottle of rye in his jacket in the coat check room.
The opera is beautiful, but Don just wants the painful minutes to tick by faster. We see him sweating in his seat. Eventually, all the actors on stage transform into Don’s jacket because that bottle of booze is all that matters to him.
Director Billy Wilder did his research because the movie shows us the embarrassing situations that junkies get themselves into when they are by themselves.
There’s a scene where Don has two bottles of whiskey. While he is polishing off one of them, he hides the other in the apartment where his brother won’t find it.
Tomorrow, in the sober light of day, he can’t remember where he put the second bottle. So he frantically ransacks his own place searching for that precious booze.
I’ve done that. You’d think that the shame of putting yourself into such a ridiculous situation would scare you straight. But it doesn’t.
At the heart of “The Lost Weekend” is the saddest reality of life as a junkie: the only thing you really want is to be completely alone with your drugs. Your loved ones are nothing but annoying impediments; you can’t wait for them to leave.
The entire plot of the movie is that Don’s brother is going away for a long weekend. Don has exactly two goals. One, remain drunk every waking hour. And two, avoid his worried girlfriend by any means necessary.
Eventually, I kicked my additions. It was simple: I couldn’t find any more drugs. After a little while, I stopped thinking about them. Horrifyingly, this easy way out can never happen for an alcoholic. Booze is everywhere.
To any alcoholics reading this, I have no advice for you. All I have is empathy. At least there is one perfect film about your predicament.