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When A Man Loves A Woman Movie: All About This Film!

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The American romantic drama When a Man Loves a Woman came out in 1994. It was directed by Luis Mandoki and written by Al Franken and Ronald Bass. The film features Andy Garca, Meg Ryan, Tina Majorino, Mae Whitman, Ellen Burstyn, Lauren Tom, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

When a Man Loves a Woman came out April 29, 1994, in the United States. Ryan was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Female Actor in a Leading Role for her role as a mother who drinks too much. The name of the movie comes from a song by Percy Sledge with the same name.

Table of Contents

The Plot

Michael, a pilot, married school counsellor Alice Green. She needs help with her alcoholism. Alice is carefree but loving. Jess, nine, and Casey, four, whose father is Michael, are forgotten when she’s intoxicated.

Alice arrives home slurring one afternoon. Amy, her unwelcome babysitter, is sacked, leaving her with her kids. Jess worries about Alice and approaches when she is drinking. She hits Jess, who cries. Alice vomits in the shower, calls for Jess, and falls through the shower door, hitting her head. Jess contacts Michael thinking Alice is dead. Michael returns home to Alice.

Alice and Michael discuss her hospital drinking. They agree she requires professional alcohol treatment. Alice goes to rehab after hospitalization.

Michael now takes care of their house and kids the most. Between his airline pilot work and his arguments with Amy, who leaves the house, this is difficult. In the same time, Alice is doing well at the clinic. Staff and residents like her, and her recuperation is painful but improving. Alice begins repairing her bond with the children at a clinic family visit. Michael wanders the grounds alone, feeling awkward in Alice’s new existence.

when a man loves a woman movie

Sober, Alice goes home cautiously. She is loud, forceful, and distinctive. Michael is struggling to adjust to Alice’s coldness after therapy. He feels left out by Alice’s new, high-priority friendships with people outside the pair. She doesn’t like that Michael doesn’t seem to recognise how well she can handle things at home, but she rejects his affection and care. After accepting their breakup, Michael grudgingly agrees to Alice’s proposal that they consult a marriage counsellor, who considers Michael “codependent.”

Alice claims Michael’s sincerity “makes her skin crawl” during an argument. Alice stays behind with the kids when Michael leaves. Michael joins a spouses of alcoholics group to cope with his relationship’s changes. Michael is silent at first then opens up to the group about how sorry he is because he didn’t realize how much his wife’s sobriety would alter him, his kids, and his marriage.

Alice and Michael celebrate Amy’s baby alone in the hospital. Alice wants Michael to attend her speech on her failures and triumphs after 180 days of sobriety before they leave. She also informs him that she had been thinking about asking him to go home with her. Michael informs Alice about his Denver job offer. Since Alice should go to rehab, they agree Michael should take the job for the first time.

Later, Alice speaks on stage about how sobriety affected her, her kids, and her husband. Her speech brings tears. People greet her after her speech. Michael emerges. At ease with himself and Alice, he tells her what he missed along the way: “to listen, to really listen.” They kiss passionately and long.

The Cast and Its Characters

  • Alice Green, played by Meg Ryan
  • Andy Garca is playing Michael Green.
  • Lauren Tom played babysitter Amy, and Philip Seymour Hoffman played Gary.
  • Jess Green, played by Tina Majorino
  • Casey Green, played by Mae Whitman
  • Emily played by Ellen Burstyn

when a man loves a woman movie


The music score by Zbigniew Preisner was released on a soundtrack. Here’s the list of songs:

  • When a Man Loves a Woman (feat. Percy Sledge)
  • “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison
  • El Gusto
  • Main Title
  • Garbage Compulsion
  • Homecoming
  • I Hit Her Hard
  • Dressing Casey
  • Gary
  • Michael Decides
  • Alice & Michael


Tom Hanks was thought of for the role of Garcia, and Michelle Pfeiffer and Debra Winger were both thought of for the role of Ryan.

Critical Response

70% of the 23 Rotten Tomatoes reviews enjoyed the film. Site consensus is, “Addiction complicates marriage in When a Man Loves a Woman. Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan perform well.”

The film received four stars from Roger Ebert, who had been an alcoholic but had stopped drinking “This smart and ambitious film explores how alcoholism affects marriage. Many movies about the condition depict a sluggish onset, a dramatic low point, and a slow recovery. It’s hard—most alcoholics never try. Better isn’t enough.” The movie’s best part was Meg Ryan, Andy Garcia, and Lauren Tom’s performances “Alice’s recovery isn’t all. It’s about how Michael becomes better after Alice gets better.”

when a man loves a woman movie

James Berardinelli remarked that “The finale is too straightforward, and it often attempts to teach too much, but the script does a decent enough job depicting how the Green family operates that we never doubt that the narrative should be told. The film’s strength is how sad it is… This movie is fantastic because the former matters more than the latter.” Berardinelli complimented Tina Majorino and Mae Whitman’s performances and stated witnessing Alice and Michael via the children’s eyes improves the plot.

The movie is brilliant but has “endless discourse, a stunted mise en scene, and a moral atmosphere of dogged and literal-minded perseverance,” according to David Denby of New York Magazine.

Christen McCurdy stated in a 2012 Bitch magazine review, “A movie that starts in the middle of a relationship and has a joyful ending without one character having a “lightning-bolt” moment and shouting it out loud is rare (though we get something like that in the final scene). Instead, both partners should switch responsibilities.”

The Box Office

The movie opened in the US at number two, behind The Crow. It made $50 million in the US and Canada and $119 million all over the world.

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