Prozac Nation (2005)
Following up his critically acclaimed debut Insomnia (1997), Norwegian director Erik Skjoldbjaerg makes his first English-language feature with this adaptation of the book by Elizabeth Wurtzel. Christina Ricci stars as Lizzie, a prize-winning student heading off to Harvard where she intends to study journalism and launch a career as a rock music critic. However, Elizabeth's fractured family situation including an errant father (Nicholas Campbell) and a neurotic, bitterly hypercritical mother (Jessica Lange) has led to a struggle with depression. When her all-night, drug-fueled writing binges and emotional instability alienate her roommate and best friend, Ruby (Michelle Williams), as well as both her first (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) and second (Jason Biggs) boyfriends, Lizzie seeks psychiatric counseling from Dr. Diana Sterling (Anne Heche), who prescribes the wonder drug Prozac. Despite success as a writer that includes a gig writing for Rolling Stone and some mellowing out thanks to her medication, Lizzie begins to feel that the pills are running her life and faces some tough choices about her future. Prozac Nation (2001) is a longtime dream project of star Ricci, who also serves as one of the film's co-producers. … More
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Critic Reviews for Prozac Nation
There's really no reservoir of sympathy deep enough to support a whiny, navel-gazing Harvard student who turns her depression into a show-stopping spectacle.
The self-centered brat at the center of Prozac Nation spends most of her time making life miserable for everyone around her, but there's little reason the public should have to pay for the same privilege.
Ninety-eight minutes of this movie and you may find yourself reaching for Prozac or the antidepressant of your choice. A cheap shot, to be sure, but the movie earns it.
Truly depressing, a dark, mean and screechy film that still looks half-finished after years on the shelf.
In portraying Elizabeth Wurtzel, Ricci displays range, depth, and courage.
[Ricci's] performance as a Harvard undergrad battling clinical depression compels your attention every moment she is on screen.
It should be no surprise that a flick about depressives turns into a depressing film.
Prozak Nation is a manipulative, cloying take on depression, a watered down film from a watered down book.
The film avoids disease-of-the-week sentimentality with Ricci's calm, reasoning voice-over juxtaposing her erratic behavior; she realizes what she's doing but just can't stop.
it seems that Elizabeth's problem isn't that she's clinically depressed. It's because she's a first class a-hole. (That's a scientific term)
Poor Ricci, stuck in the role of the egotistical unlikeable young woman, tries her hardest to appear miserable.
Prozac Nation moves along at the speed of a Norwegian glacier, yet it provides the observer with nowhere near the pleasure.
well-made, but almost relentlessly downbeat portrait of self-destruction -- it makes Winona Ryder's similar 'Girl, Interrupted' look like 'Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm'
despite low expectations, you press on, hoping for something interesting to happen
Ricci, a largely inconsistent and limited actress, is splendid when the atomic bomb inside her character's head goes off.
Much like I imagine spending time with Wurtzel herself, Prozac Nation is a laborious, annoying, and wholeheartedly repulsive experience.
She's irritating, brash, self-centered and ultimately lovable in this '80s angst film, which may not play well with today's audiences who would be rather dismissive to such a me-generation attitude.
Ancorado pelas ótimas atuações de Ricci e Lange, o filme traça um retrato fiel da depressão - e aqueles que passaram (ou passam) por esta experiência certamente o aplaudirão.
Offers little insight into mental illness or its treatment, and it offers even less drama.
Audience Reviews for Prozac Nation
For anyone suffering from depression, Elizabeth Wurtzel's 1994 memoir was a boon. This film reflects on her time at Harvard, and the battle that ensued as she took on her demons. Starring Christina Ricci in the titular role, Lizzie has to take on her past demons now that she's away from home. Her mother (Lange) and father (Campbell) went through an irrefutably volatile divorce that still has a negative impact on Lizzie. She has battled through all this before, but now that she's in Harvard, devoid of a lot of human contact or the comforts of home, she unravels. Unable to break from her writing, addicted to drugs and alcohol, vehement, even to her supporters, and co-dependent of her first love, Rafe, Lizzie is lost in a sea of darkness. The film doesn't speak of someone's inability to cope, and isn't driving towards the point of being an indie feature. Most of the film features a build-up of tension between Lizzie and her mother, and the problems Lizzie faces in recovery. Lizzie is also a very emotional and bitter young woman, who thrashes out at anyone she could call a friend, and while this isn't a clear indication of what a depressed person looks like, it does make the character interesting. Her recovery after her prognosis and the steps she takes make for a great watch; for any young adult or teenager who is currently having their own trials and tribulations. Still, there's something so over the top about this film that it remains uncontrollably uncomfortable for the audience. Ricci is probably the worst indicator of this, because her acting is so hammy at times. She screams at the top of her lungs, and always cries. There's never any introspection, no darkness or true sadness, just an inability to understand what is happening to her. That and the performance seems comedic after a few too many wails. Lange gives yet another great performance as a mother stuck between caring for her daughter and living her own life, and Biggs is interesting for once, if a little stilted.More
Okay if you like depressing movies about people who are completely self destructive. Personally, I knew too many of them in high school to want to spend another 2 hour with them.More
[font=Century Gothic]"Prozac Nation" starts out in the 1980's when Elizabeth Wurtzel(Christina Ricci) is being driven to Harvard University for freshman orientation by her mother(Jessica Lange).(Elizabeth is attending on a journalism scholarship and has already had an article published in Teen Magazine about her father whom she has not seen in four years.) Once at college, she lives a normal life, makes a best friend, Ruby(Michelle Williams), and loses her virginity. Elizabeth gains fame, an award, and the attention of Rolling Stone magazine for writing a piece on a Lou Reed(Lou Reed) concert. In trying to top her early success, she develops a massive case of writer's block in trying to write an article on Bruce Springsteen(academics have had the same problem for decades...). Thus leading to a downfall through alcohol, drugs and some seriously antisocial behavior.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Prozac Nation" is a self-important movie about a self-centered person. Removing the narration would have helped in moving around some of the focus. To make matters worse, the movie is based on Elizabeth Wurtzel's own experiences but provides a decided lack of insight into mental illness or anything else for that matter. [/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Christina Ricci gives a wooden performance in the lead and sadly might be incapable of delivering sarcasm.(Zooey Deschanel would have been a vast improvement.) Surprisingly, Jessica Lange disappoints in a completely over-the-top performance. But there is fine support supplied by Michelle Williams, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jason Biggs and Anne Heche.[/font]
Prozac Nation Quotes
- Elizabeth Wurtzel:
- I've always waited for that one moment of truth to set me free and change my life forever.
- Elizabeth Wurtzel:
- Hemingway has his classic moment in "The Sun Also Rises" when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt. All he can say is, 'Gradually, then suddenly.' That's how depression hits. You wake up one morning, afraid that you're gonna live.
- Elizabeth Wurtzel:
- Sometimes it feels like we're all living in a Prozac nation. The United States of Depression.
- Lizzy, I'm not crying because you're mean. I just can't imagine how incredibly painful it must be to be you.
- Elizabeth Wurtzel:
- [to herself] Ruby get's it she get's me. If she were guy everything would be perfect.
- Elizabeth Wurtzel:
- [to Ruby] We'll be like this beautiful literary freaks. Being brilliant, and dark. Sexy. [both laugh] [to herself] Trouble is, I'm deadly serious .
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