The focus of this film is three generations of men who are dealing with addiction, recovery and loss. The grandfather, Stu (Will Bellais), likes his alcohol and gun and does his best to ignore the fact that he was a lousy father and husband. Stu’s son, Jake (George Bamford), used to like his alcohol and women, and he does his best to make his father admit to the past. Jake’s son, Mack (Sean Breault), loves his cocaine and little else. All in all, it’s the far too typical family.
Films of this sort can easily become parodies of themselves. “Damaged” avoids that by treating the subject matter with the respect it deserves. It doesn’t present excuses and it doesn’t pretend to have easy solutions. Instead, it gives viewers a snapshot of some broken lives and the blueprints of what may have gone wrong with them.
The worst thing humans can do is lie to themselves about what they are. It leads to a path of self-destruction and denial that can take your loved ones down with you. If that’s the only thing people will take from this film, then it has done its job. The splendid acting, realistic dialogue and likable characters are just a bonus. The real meat is the story. Too bad it may be too tough to chew for some people, but do yourself a favor and try anyway. You may just learn a little about yourself in the process.