Bleecker Street released the first trailer for What They Had on Monday (July 23).
The film follows Swank’s Bridget Ertz, who returns to her hometown of Chicago after her mother Ruth (Danner), who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, wanders into a blizzard on Christmas Eve. When reunited with her family, Bridget must work with her brother Nicky (Shannon) and father Burt (Forster) to decide what is best for Ruth as Burt struggles to let go of their life together.
The trailer opens with Bridget returning home after being away for years. While Nicky states that he has been trying to prepare Burt for Ruth’s worsening state, their father makes it clear that he is not ready to let his wife live anywhere but their home.
While there’s clear tension that builds between Bridget and her parents, she also reveals that she and her husband have hit a rough patch in their relationship. “You know, everyone thinks being alone is so bad,” says Bridget. “You know what’s lonely? Looking over at the man you’ve been married to for the last 20 years and thinking, ‘He must be feeling the same way I am.'”
Ruth’s disease is intertwined throughout the trailer, including scenes where she refers to her husband as her boyfriend and when she states that she plans on having another baby.
When Bridget tells her father that Ruth will eventually lose her memory, Burt responds, “For better or worse. Sickness and health. Death do you part. That is the promise.” Clips of the family’s happy memories are shown before he concludes, “She’s my girl. You can’t take my girl away from me.”
In addition to starring in the film, Swank served as an executive producer alongside Shannon, Fyzz Facility’s Wayne Godfrey and Robert Jones and Interlock Capital’s Levi Sheck and Mike Rowe. Shafin Diamond Tejani, Dean Buchanan, David Grace, Byron Wetzel also served as executive producers.
What They Had, which premiered at Sundance, will debut in theaters on Oct. 12.