It's as true to life as a vodka martini.
The above quote is from director Blake Edwards, it's taken from the highly recommended commentary track he provides on the DVD for this excellent and compelling piece of work.
Joe is a social drinker but he's social all the time, during one of his arranged parties for a client he meets and falls in love with teetotal Kirsten. They get married and changes start to dominate their marital bliss, he is stressed from work and drinks daily to forget the rigours of the job, she being the loving wife chooses to drink with him to help ease his pain, but soon the joyous days of wine & roses will turn to something dark and terribly turbulent, and this will threaten their own respective sanity.
The film begins with Henry Mancini's academy award winning title theme tune, it's a truly beautiful piece of music that perfectly sets the tone of the film for its first third, it lulls you into this couples love, the bond they share is a truly wonderful thing, it really is all sweetness and light, but then the bottle becomes part of this couples life, they become a threesome from which only dark horrors will form. Containing emotionally shattering scenes that once viewed can not be forgotten (witness Joe's soul destroying search for liquor in a greenhouse), Days Of Wine & Roses still manages not to force feed the viewer a moralistic stance, it lays down the facts of alcoholism and the perils of co-dependency with honest appraisal, we as the viewers are left in no doubt that it is us, and us only, that can make of it as we see fit, the ending especially is a particular poser of which we ourselves seek clarity.
Wonderfully written by the talented hands of J.P. Miller, Days Of Wine And Roses boasts marvellous direction from Blake Edwards and two academy award nominated performances from Jack Lemmon & Lee Remick, it's a testament to all involved that come the finale the viewer feels drained, yet strangely...not at all thirsty for the amber nectar.