8 February 2004 | Owl_of_Insanity
A girl suffers from debilitating depression at Harvard.
I thought that the main problem with Prozac Nation was that it just seemed to lack focus. The movie obviously compressed a lot of details in the book, but I think if it had just focused on the main crisis of the book, the character's descent into depression would have been easier to understand and empathize. As it was, it tried to do that, but it also tried to cram in other things, and I feel that if I hadn't read the book or gone through something similar myself, I would not have understood why Lizzie was so afflicted at this particular point in her life.
I thought the acting was excellent: Michelle Williams and Jason Biggs were great, and Christina Ricci was phenomenal, capturing the entire range of the pain and anger and self-loathing of depression. I thought Jessica Lange put in a good performance, although her bizarre accent and the fact that she in no way resembles the darker and petite Christina Ricci was really distracting. I was simply unable to believe she was her mother, and certainly not a Jewish mother.
If you're a fan of one or more of the actors, I would watch the movie for the sake of appreciating their skill. Or, if you've suffered from severe depression, then watch it and know that there are other people who feel the same way you do and think the same thoughts as you, and who would understand why you feel and act the way you do. Otherwise, skip it. If you don't understand depression before going into the film, it is unlikely that this it will shed any light on the topic for you. It's pretty much impossible to understand unless you've been there yourself.