Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Well, Mayor Rob Ford is back in office after two months in rehab where he said he spent time battling his 'personal demons.' Since the schmancy treatment centre, GreenStone Muskoka, is located in Ontario's famed cottage country - a place known as much for its black flies as its multi-million dollar lakeside mansions - the Mayor probably had a few bug bites to battle too.

But he looks good - if not great - after two months of clean living. He also says he's ready to take responsibility for all the wrongs he's done to people while he was 'using.' The hubs and I are taking dibs on how long this will last. But I'm sure the talk show hosts will be waiting eagerly in the shadows for the next drunk YouTube footage to emerge.

Not that I want to make too much light of rehab. Addiction SUX. And so far a professional round of rehab seems to be the treatment of choice. Either that or A.A. In both cases, that usually means total abstinence.

However, there are some people who don't put a lot of stock in rehab or 12-step programs. People like Dr. Lance Dodes, retired Harvard professor and addiction expert whose recent book The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry is about ... well, the title says it all, doesn't it?

I still have to pick up Dr. Dodes's book, so I'll keep the review short here, but I'm soooo looking forward to getting it. It's going to be Ms. Functional's summer beach read of 2014. ;)

Mayor Ford isn't the only one on the rehab path today. After some seriously questionable behavior, Shia LeBeouf has just voluntarily checked himself into an undisclosed facility for alcohol dependence. The 28-year-old actor's peeps are quick to point out it's not 'rehab.' It's treatment. I have no idea what the difference is, but I imagine there are fewer black flies involved.

I've been of fan of Shia's for years - ever since seeing the young, but talented thespian in The Battle of Shaker Heights way back in 2003. LaBoeuf was a child star and had grown up working for the Disney Channel - although this was the first time I had ever heard of him. The film itself is spotty, since it was part of Project Greenlight, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's play-by-play of what it takes to get a first feature made in H'wood.  But I thought LeBoeuf was subtle, witty, natural - and adorable.

I loved him again in Disturbia, the 2007 flick about a young man under house arrest who thinks his neighbor is a serial killer. Totally creepy/funny flick!!

Unfortunately, that year also marked the young star's first appearance in the papers for something other than his acting: his drinking. At only 20 years old, he was charged with criminal trespassing for refusing to leave a Walgreen's while he was drunk. (more here)

His professional life seemed to be a leap-frog of first-run movies like 'Indiana Jones' and 'Transformers,' while his personal world started to become its own 'Temple of Doom.' There was a suspected DUI after a car crash in 2008 and then - bizarrely - claims that he plagiarized the content of his directorial debut. 

After the accusations, LeBeouf hired a sky writer to apologize to the alleged victim - a graphic novelist - and tweeted he was retiring from show business. But then he showed up on a red carpet wearing a paper bag on his head that read: I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE. Which was a sure-fire way to keep being famous, btw.

Then just last week in New York, he was arrested after being drunk and disorderly at a performance of Cabaret where he apparently heckled the other actors. Yikes. Not cool. That must've been the last straw because the 'He's Getting Help' press release was next.

Anyway, I wish the young star much luck with his not-really-rehab treatment and hope - like Rob Ford - he's back at work soon. Sans paper bags and addiction problems.

Speaking of addiction problems! Zowie! I went home for a family visit last recently! But more on that next time!

And just because I like the little drama prince, here's the trailer from Disturbia. It's one of those epic previews where you probably don't have to see the movie after you watch it because, like, practically every scene is in it. But it's still a fun flick for a rainy summer night.