The inspiring true story behind Four Good Days on Netflix and what does the ending mean?

Here is everything you need to know about the true story behind Four Good Days, the 2020 film that's taking off on Netflix

The inspiring true story behind Four Good Days on Netflix and what does the ending mean?
(Image credit: Alamy )

A movie from 2020 starring Mila Kunis and Glenn Close is currently taking off on Netflix, but what is the true story behind Four Good Days? Here is what you need to know.

The ending of Four Good Days reveals that the film is based on an article by The Washington Post (opens in new tab), about a real mother and daughter named Libby Alexander and Amanda Wendler. But who are these people and how did they inspire the film?

Four Good Days

(Image credit: Alamy)

The film is based on an article by Eli Saslow titled, ‘How’s Amanda?’A story of truth, lies and an American addiction (opens in new tab), which documents and young woman's struggle with heroin addiction and how her mother helped her.

The article was first published in July 2016 and while some things were changed or added in the film adaptation of this article, there are many key themes that are kept the same. Like the movie, the article predominantly focuses on Libby and Amanda's relationship and how her mother was impacted by her daughter's addiction. 

In the article, and in real life, Amanda lost all of her teeth after a decade of neglect. She also has twin sons instead of a boy and a girl and the storyline about giving up a baby for adoption was not mentioned in the article - suggesting it was most likely an invented storyline from the movie producers.

The title is based on the four days that Amanda needed to stay sober in order to receive her first dose of naltrexone, the drug which blocks the effects of heroin and makes it impossible to get high. "Doctors had told her that first she needed to pass a drug test, which required staying clean for at least two weeks, which meant her appointment for the shot was still four days away," reads the article that inspired the film.

Four Good Days

(Image credit: Alamy )

Four Good Days ending explained

The final scene of the film takes place four months later. In this scene, we watch as Molly comes home and her mother asks 'How are the kids?' Molly says that Corey has a cold but Chloe is fine and Sean is thinking about letting her see the kids more and starting to trust her again. 

Although she needed to get her shot on Friday, she said she could reschedule to Monday and Deb is apprehensive at first but then says nothing and compliments her daughter's appearance as a way of approving and recognizing how far she has come.

The film ends with them both sitting in the garage, sharing a poignant look and ripping up the puzzle to start again. A symbolic message about a new beginning. 

What happened to the real Molly?

Mila Kunis' character is based on Amanda Wendler and while the article ends with Amanda once again struggling with withdrawal, in real life, Amanda Wendler has recovered from her addiction but maintains that it is still a daily struggle to stay sober.

Amanda told the Detroit Free Press, (opens in new tab) "If you would have asked me five or six years ago how I would see myself in five years, never could I imagine that I would have peace in my life, that I actually can get a good night’s sleep and rest and not worry about where I was going to sleep or how I was going to eat. It’s just like night and day. I mean, I love my life today." She added about her addiction, "This will be with me for the rest of my life. I know that." Amanda added on a positive note, "The one thing is you cannot quit quitting. You’ve got to keep at it. Finally, it stuck."

Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.

Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.