My Name Is Kate (1994)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Donna Mills in My Name Is Kate (1994)

Many Days

Everyone knew Kate Bannister (Donna Mills) liked a drink every now and then but then everyone from her husband Hal (Daniel J. Travanti) to her son Kevin (Ryan Reynolds) started to notice that Kate's drinking was becoming more frequent. When Kate crashes her car whilst drunk they decide to stage an intervention and force her to go in to rehab, something she is not at all happy about. In denial about the extent of her drinking problem and rebellious against the system in the facility Kate slowly comes round to what a mess she was especially when confronted by how her family felt when she drank so much. But with the temptation always there Kate has to come to terms with leaving rehab and re-entering the life outside the facility which she now realises is not good.

If I was to say that "My Name Is Kate" isn't a movie it would be a bit unfair because we have this central character of Kate who is an alcoholic and forced to confront her addiction when put into rehab. But what "My Name Is Kate" really comes across as is a look at what it is like for someone who is an alcoholic trying to beat the disease and not only get sober but remain sober away from the safety of rehab. As such what we get is a walk through of all the stages from the initial denial of having a problem, to rebelling against the system right through to the fear of leaving and others struggling with a new you leading to stress and of course temptation. All these elements highlight what an alcoholic can go through but it makes it more of an education device rather than a drama about Kate.

On the subject of Kate we have the glamorous Donna Mills and I said glamorous as her glamour is crucial to the role because we watch Kate change from being glamorous to the wreck of cold turkey and through to a new woman after. And Donna Mills plays the part well especially when it comes to dealing with life being sober and all the stresses which come with it and what her alcoholism has done to her family. But Mills is surrounded by good performances especially Nia Peeples whose attitude as Kate's friend Annie works well, plus there is a young Ryan Reynolds as her son Kevin.

What this all boils down to is that "My Name Is Kate" is effective as an educational movie which highlights the issues facing an alcoholic as they try to become and remain sober. But with its focus on highlighting all the issues and stages it is not as effective as a movie.