Daryl Poynter (Michael Keaton) is a successful but self-destructive Philadelphia real estate salesman who is addicted to cocaine. He embezzles $92,000 of his company’s money from an escrow account and then loses it all to his addiction and the stock market.Waking up one morning next to a girl who suffered a heart attack from a cocaine overdose, he tries to cover up the drug use, but the police make it clear that they know what happened wit regard to the company’s money.
Daryl tries to flee the country but all flights are held up due to bad weather. His colleague Martin Laux (Brian Benben) also refuses to put him up for a couple of weeks. Daryl then learns of a drug rehabilitation program which lasts about a month and which guarantees anonymity. He thus applies for it. There, he meets Craig, a tough but supportive drug rehabilitation counselor. With great difficulty, Craig helps Daryl to realize he is an addict and his life is complete chaos.
One of the toughest things about drug and alcohol addiction is owning up to the fact of that addiction; being able to say, “I’m an addict.” Because until that happens, the addiction will continue and the prospect of getting any help will lessen with each passing day. And the important thing is getting that help before it’s too late, regardless of how it comes about.
It’s being able to recognize the opportunity and having the gumption to take advantage of it, which is what happens to a young man on the brink of disaster in “Clean and Sober,” directed by Glenn Gordon Caron. Michael Keaton stars as Daryl Poynter, a high power real estate broker with a couple of problems: He’s appropriated some $90,000 from an escrow account to play the stock market (which quickly took a nose-dive on him, leaving him about $52,000 short), but that’s not even his biggest problem; his biggest problem is that he’s a cocaine addict, as well as an alcoholic– and he doesn’t even know it.
Character to watch: Michael Keaton as Daryl Poynter.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?