SMASHED takes a shot at Sundance '12

As one of the stars of Breaking Bad, if Aaron Paul’s acting like he’s under the influence of a controlled substance, it’s usually meth. But in the Sundance ’12 U.S. Dramatic Competition film SMASHED, Paul trades in the crank for the drank. He plays Charlie, one half of a young married couple who love to have a good time and get absolutely hammered. But when Charlie’s wife Kate (SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead) realizes she needs to get sober, it not only changes her life, it changes their marriage as well.

This “adult coming of age story” comes from writer/director James Ponsoldt, whose first feature was the Sundance ’06 selection OFF THE BLACK — another film about the dangers of alcohol abuse. Joining Paul and Winstead in this smashing film are your newest Golden Globe winner for Best Supporting Actress, Octavia Spencer, who plays Winstead’s Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, as well as one of TV comedy’s premiere power couples, Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, who — SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT! — can also be seen together in an episode of Sundance’s THE MORTIFIED SESSIONS.

Ponsoldt, a former recipient of the Lynn Auerbach Screenwriting Fellowship from the Sundance Institute, says he was inspired to write the film with Susan Burke by stories of friends and loved ones who had dealt with addiction, as well as first-hand experiences during his own occasional binges. I’d share my own favorite drunken escapades with you, but I’m too drunk right now to even remember them. Which also explains whatever typos you found in this piece. Here’s Ponsoldt with more on SMASHED in his Sundance Meet the Artists interview:

SMASHED premieres on Sunday, January 22nd at 8:30pm at the Library Center Theatre. For a full list of festival screenings, go to