American culture with its emphasis on quick fix solutions to difficulties seems to be a fertile field for addiction.

Sweet Nothing is based on a drug addict's diaries found in a Bronx apartment. Angelo (Michael Imperioli) is a low-level brokerage executive who's married to Monika (Mira Sorvino) and has two children. Raymond (Paul Calderon), a Marine buddy, introduces him to crack and soon afterwards he's selling the stuff on the streets in order to get easy money.

The film vividly reveals the breadth and depth of Angelo's devotion to crack and the ways in which he sees it meeting his needs for a sense of autonomy and personal potency, play, aliveness, and escape. When Raymond cuts his buddy out of the dealing business, Angelo is forced to make it on his own. He runs into trouble, not the least of which is Monika's refusal to stand by him while he destroys himself and his family.

Counselor and theologian John Bradshaw has written: "Addictions are the archaeological ruins of our quest for transcendence. They are aborted quests for God. Every addiction is spirituality gone awry." This compelling film directed by Gary Winick vividly illustrates these points. The challenge of every addict like Angelo who attempts to get clean is to accept life as it is with all of its limitations and to rechannel one's energy and devotion into people and projects that matter.