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When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)

Andy Garcia , Meg Ryan , Luis Mandoki  |  R |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Andy Garcia, Meg Ryan, Lauren Tom, Ellen Burstyn, Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Directors: Luis Mandoki
  • Writers: Ronald Bass & Al Franken
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 15, 2000
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305692572
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,891 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "When a Man Loves a Woman" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Two of Hollywood's hottest stars, Meg Ryan (YOU'VE GOT MAIL, CITY OF ANGELS) and Andy Garcia (DESPERATE MEASURES, THE GODFATHER, PART III), deliver critically acclaimed performances in this inspiring motion picture hit. As Alice and Michael, Ryan and Garcia are a passionate couple whose once-stable marriage is rocked by her increasing dependence on alcohol. As they strive to overcome this challenge, they discover a renewed sense of love and commitment. Sparked by hope and ignited by riveting star performances, WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN is the must-see hit of the year -- a story of fiery passion -- and the enduring power of love.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting movie about the effects of alcoholism August 9, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
When I first saw the title of this movie, I was thinking that this was going to be a romantic comedy. But, to my surprise, it was so much more.
Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia are good as Alice and Michael Green. I liked the fact that the movie dealt with Alice's alcoholism. She realizes that she has a major problem with alcohol. Eventually, she goes into rehabilitation.
I'm glad that they didn't stop the movie with her coming out of rehab and life will be all wonderful and fuzzy. What happens is that with Alice sober, Michael doesn't have anyone to rescue anymore. It is good to watch how their relationship changes with Alice's new found sobriety. Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia do a great job in showing how alcoholism can effectively mess up a relationship and family.
It's been a while since I have seen this movie, but there are some wonderful supporting performances to mention. Tina Majorino as the oldest daughter, Jess, is astonishing. She shows a lot of emotion for the daughter of an alcoholic. I think that she could have easily been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
Also, Lauren Tom as Amy, the Green's nanny/housekeeper, is incredible. Her character does not really like Michael Green very much. The scene where Michael begs her to come back and help the family is great. Amy definitely does not make it easy for him.
This movie is definitely not light-hearted fair. In fact, I would really not recommend this for children. But, for adults, I recommend this movie because it tackles alcoholism head on, especially with some not so pleasant views of Alice's alcoholism.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie July 10, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Coming from an alcoholic family I was able to relate to the children in the movie. I think Meg Ryan played the part perfectly and Andy Garcia did a wonderful job as well. It was a different look at a serious disease, the fact that the mother was an alcoholic.
Meg Ryan (Alice Green) plays a wife and mother of two, who has an out of control drinking problem, that takes her almost dying in the shower to make her realize that she has a problem. Andy Garcia (Michael Green) plays her husband who knows that she has a problem, but just is not ready to face the fact that she needs help or she is going to hurt herself or one of the children.
When Alice finally does get the help she needs, Michael doesn't cope well with the fact that she now has other people to turn to when things get rough. Michael does try to go to a support meeting for family memebers, but just sees it as a bunch of people sitting around feeling sorry for each other. He thinks that things will just 'go back to normal' now that she has gotten help and just isn't that simple.
Although the effects that her drinking had on the kids was not addressed, I felt that it touched most of the bases that a family goes through after recovery.
You will need a box of tissues by your side for this tear jerker.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How Meg Ryan saved my life July 25, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This movie may not be in the 'Days of Wine and Roses' league, in which the great, departed Jack Lemmon deservedly won a Best Actor Oscar. It is, however, a very significant film for me personally. Dealing very sensitively with alcoholism, the performances given by its two main stars, Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia, are, in my view, underestimated. I have watched this movie several times. I am a huge Meg Ryan fan, and, whilst this is not my personal favourite of hers, I feel that it proves that she is too good an actress to be typecast in romantic comedies. She looks the part as the alcoholic, and I intend to be merely complimentary in this assessment; Andy Garcia, equally, is fine as the 'al-anon' husband, with whom so many spouses can associate. I suppose I am somewhat biased in my opinion, as, not only am I a massive Meg addict, I have also (like Meg's character) pulled through alcohol addiction. For me, the scene towards the end of the video, where she, at the alcohol treatment centre, makes a speech, to declare that she has been sober for 184 days, is very poignant. I saw this movie when I was at my lowest ebb, traumatised by alcohol addiction. This scene was to save me, as I thought, if Meg can do it, so can I! Therefore, I white-knuckled it through 184 days, just like Meg, and I am now nearly at my fourth 184 days, after nearly two years of sobriety. I'll never know whether this film would have had such a profound effect on me if someone else had played that part. But, in my view, no-one else would have been able to play that part to such good effect. The carefree girl from 'When Harry Met Sally', reduced to alcoholism. That's why it was effective, and, for me, a life saver. So a big thank you to Meg Ryan, and not to forget Andy Garcia. Seeing an alcoholic deteriorate through the eyes of a loved one is always inspiring to those who wish to combat the illness. Not a great movie, as I said earlier, but a very underrated one. It saved this reviewer's life.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Story of Endless Devotion January 24, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I believe that addiction can only be overcome by love. The demons of addiction thrive and perpetuate in a black vacuum of mental and emotional despair; only the steadfast love and support of others can exorcise them.
And indeed it is love that ultimately breaks through the shackles of alcoholism in director Luis Mandoki's gripping film, WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN. Michael and Alice Green (Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan) are a young couple deeply in love--so much so that Michael tends to downplay his wife's growing dependence on alcohol. Only when Alice's addiction plunges her down a desperate, dysfunctional vortex--from rummaging through trash looking for vodka bottles to passing out in the shower--does Michael come to the jarring conclusion that he is on the verge of losing his wife to an insidious disease. Alice is placed in rehab, and Michael's devotion is put to the test: from his discomfort with support groups to Alice's subsequent aloof and detached demeanor. Life after addiction will not be easy, for Alice, Michael, or their two daughters.
But again, love never is easy.
Garcia and Ryan give compelling, realistic performances. I also was moved by the performance of young Tina Majorino, who plays Garcia's stepdaughter Jessica. Over the course of the movie, father and stepdaughter form an emotional bond as they attempt to keep their fragile family together, and the strain on young Jessica shows.
I was shocked to learn comedic satirist Al Franken cowrote the screenply; what a departure from his usual material, but Franken obviously knows his subject matter here. WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN is anything but a "feel good" film, but there is little good to be gleaned from a story about addiction. But this movie succeeds through its powerful depiction of devotion and love--a power that will keep the viewer riveted and engrossed from beginning to end.
--D. Mikels
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