Cocaine: One Man's Seduction
This is a made for TV movie that originally aired in 1983. I’m not exactly sure what the target demographic was for this movie. Were they warning adults about the dangers of cocaine? Did they need to? It reminded me very much of an after school special, full of cliches and this-could-happen-to-you scenarios. So naturally, I loved it.
The main character in this movie is 47 year old Eddie Gant. Eddie is played brilliantly by Dennis Weaver, who goes from washed up real estate agent to coked up Caddy owner to offering pathetic post-overdose apologies from a stretcher, with aplomb.
The first few times Eddie is offered cocaine, he refuses. After watching a few friends do it, and seeing that they seem fine afterward, he finally caves to peer pressure and tries some in the bathroom at a party. A party at which, moments after being greeted by the host, his wife remarks that she has never felt so unwelcome at his house before. When Eddie emerges from the bathroom, he walks over to where the host is talking business with a couple of other men, and is greeted with enthusiasm. I don’t know why the host who was so unimpressed with him a short while before is now so excited to see him, which makes me wonder if this was intended as a glimpse into Eddie’s psyche, where we see how before drugs Eddie feels uninteresting and unwelcome, but after drugs he feels outgoing and confident. Of course, I could be reading way too much into this, and that whole scene was just to move along the plot.
At any rate, this movie follows the arc of all good drug movies: the early days, where there is little to no drug use; the good times, where it’s all fun; the addiction days, where things start going downhill; and finally, hitting bottom. If you’re a fan of Party Monster, When a Man Loves a Woman, James Spader, and Lifetime movies, then you really can’t go wrong with this one.
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