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  • I think I should start by stating that I was hungry for this film, the book Prozac Nation, which chronicles Elizabeth Wurtzel's battle with depression, meant so much to me and each delay to the film (and there were many) only served to increase my desire to see it. Then I watched it…. and from the opening scene my heart sank.

    But lets get things straight first, it is a good film, probably would never win any awards but there are worse ways to kill a couple of hours. The performances, from a cast that includes Jessica Lange and Anne Heche, are solid (although somewhat unfairly Jason Biggs will always be the guy who humped the pie in my eyes) and in the case of Christina Ricci, who played Wurtzel herself, exceptional, the soundtrack's cool (well it does include The Pretenders, Lou Reed and Bruce Springsteen after all) and if you haven't read the book you'll probably like, maybe even love, it. However therein lies the problem, a film based on an international bestseller is surely aiming itself at a target audience of its readers and for this film that's the very people who are least likely to enjoy it. The film sucks out all the depth that made the book so brilliant and so important to millions, for example, instead of being a emotionally messed up young woman who fears abandonment and uses sex and anger as defence mechanisms, Wurtzel becomes a bitchy, whiny slut who is difficult to relate to or feel sympathy for. Furthermore the time constraints lead the film to focus solely on the Harvard years cutting out the important childhood/teen years and leading to a resolution which occurs far to early making depression seem like a problem which can be solved within a year. However I suppose the biggest problem the film has to overcome is the fact that reading Prozac Nation is a highly personal and private thing, meaning no film will be able to compare to the one the readers have already seen in their heads.
  • well if you're one of those rare creatures that would answer with a 'no' then watch this movie you'll understand how hard is get out of a bed when you are depressed, how hard is to find a reason to live and why you just can't explain the way you feel. Cristina Ricci is an amazing actress indeed. portrayed this problem in such an excellent way that gave you the right idea is not a romantic or dramatic, or pathetic point of view at all, just the way it is.

    its a simple story with a simple explanation for a complicated issue, the reason why sometimes you can't just look forward a supposed good life, no matter how good you are, how brave you look, or how easy your life looks. there's also issues that actually affect our youngsters this days, and changes during the movies, the Part that Jonathan Rhys Meyers has here is small and looks like non important at all but it is, he's crucial for the whole story to be told, shows the difference between a depression patient and just a messed up kid. An amazing movie made from an Amazing book.
  • 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.
  • I have never read the book, now I want to. Seeing this movie really touched me. I cried all the way through it. Living in a small northern town in British Columbia, I've always thought I was alone, fighting a battle that could never be won. Watching this movie, was a sigh of relief. It was like she was telling my story. Many stories. Explaining exactly what it feels like, the demons in my head, the spinning, the realistic, the logical point of view, what we know is real, but what we feel is two different things. She has this brought to life, making sense to the rest of the world what is and isn't wrong with us. I see the news, talk with the people around me, and it seems like everyone has been, or knows someone that has been on anti-depressants. They are not, and will be the quick fix, but between therapy, and anti-depressants, it has saved my life. I have heard many comments about how anti-depressants don't work, and that they are just a quick fix. It takes a lot of hard work, and therapy that goes with anti-depressants to make it work. I totally agree in the film where she said it would help her to be able to see things in a different light. This is truly a wonderful, and amazing film and I'm looking forward to reading the book.
  • stodruza11 March 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    Congratulations to Christina Ricci for making this movie and putting her mojo behind this important subject and trying to make a great film. Ricci is my favorite actress: She is so gifted, so natural, her reactions are perfect and so is the energy she constantly radiates, which gives credence to the often misapplied term "star."

    The film misses its mark for lots of various reasons, but perhaps most notably for the story's seeming unadaptability to the screen in making it a compelling narrative...more on that later. The cast at first glance is excellent, but come to think of it, Jessica Lang as the Jewish mother is too Protestant and not exactly right, Ann Hetch doesn't come close to showing the compassion and dedication of the psychiatrist from the book, and when your making a movie, how can you justify saying no to Anne Heche and Jessica Lange? But the real problems are in the film's construction: first in the failure to elicit any kind of lasting sympathy for the Elizabeth Wurtzle character, and second to say anything meaningful regarding the all too common and horrible situation that this poor girl finds herself in.

    Unfortunately do to the flashback construction, Lizzy merely comes off as certainly more affected teenager than most, but not nearly as devastatingly ill as she comes off in the book. This is a major problem. This story had to be told from beginning to end and from the therapist's couch. She is only eight or nine when her depression starts due to devastating social factors, both society and the home, and this is a crucial point in not only eliciting the proper sympathy for her but also of the gravitas of her case. She is so talented, and such a vulnerable and disaffected spirit so early on, that one's heart can't help but reach out to her due to her victimization. This is missed on the film.

    Ultimately one has to come to terms with what the film is trying to say: it is a biopic of one severely affected girl, but also it is a film about a nation who can't get its act together; that is very clear in the book but interestingly not in the film where the chosen at Harvard are even more messed up than the average college enrollee. The film finally isn't able to get either of these messages across compellingly, and that's too bad. Is Prozac a good thing or is it a bad thing, or a mixed blessing or a seeming necessity in a country in which so many people can't function without a chemical crutch? These are tough and challenging concepts to work with and the writing does not really attempt to address any of them in a more or less engaging way. The Challenger disaster is an interesting image to symbolize a dysfunctional America, but that doesn't have the effect it's suppose to have due to the crosscutting and insufficient earlier development of controlling themes.

    Ricci's performance is tight and heartfelt, and one of the best of her acting career.

    Michele Williams is also superb in her role.
  • passionpink_202 January 2006
    I really liked this movie, growing up I was always so confused about the way I felt. The way Wurtzel acts is almost identical to way I would act growing up, and I always felt so alone like no one understands me. After seeing that movie, it brought tears to my eyes. Just the realness of it. I now take Prozsc. But how I picked out the movie, I was in the video store and saw it just stood out to me. I didn't even know what it was about, just something about it made want to watch. I watched it twice, I never watch movies twice. Me being on Prozac actually helps me and I don't feel disoriented or anything. Maybe they have perfected it since the 80's. I was shocked I didn't even know they had ant-depressants then. But in any even its an awesome movie, I think parents should really watch it because I don't think they realize what they are doing to their children.
  • I picked up the DVD of "Prozac Nation" at a great low price, and I am pleased to say that this movie was well worth the money. I liked this movie so much that I can't wait to read the book when I find it (the film is based on the novel of the same name).

    The movie tells the true story of Elizabeth Wurtzel (played by the beautiful Christina Ricci)and her battle with depression. She gets tired of life and nears suicide. However, she struggles to stay alive throughout her life in the 1980's, when sex and drugs ruled.

    Christina Ricci was the best at acting in this film. Her performance was very realistic and true as the depressed Elizabeth. I myself had to combat depression before, so I know the things she was going through, and I know how she feels. She was really trying her best to survive in the movie, and I appreciate the film-makers efforts to show it on the screen. And aside from her character in the film, Christina Ricci herself was beautiful; her gorgeous nude body is shown at the beginning of the movie!

    The movie put great effort to give the background scenery an 80's feel, since the book was based in the 1980's. However, I noticed that there were glaring anachronisms (mistakes in the timeline setting of the movie) that distracted me slightly from the story. But still, I got over it and continued watching the movie.

    The anachronisms was one of the two things that I didn't like in the movie. The second thing I hated was Elizabeth's mom (played by Jessica Lange); she was a very annoying and clichéd character. Without Jessica Lange's exaggerated performance, the movie would have been nearly perfect.

    Aside from those two things, the movie was very good and interesting. I never imagined that there would actually be a true story about depression portrayed in a movie. It was good to see this movie, since it would help spread awareness about depression. It's too bad that the author of the book didn't like the film.

    I give this film an 8/10.
  • I believe Erik Skjoldbjærg holds the record for most 'J's in a director's name, but apart from that, he also shows good restraint and a keen eye for narrative and detail in helming 'Prozac Nation.' Basically a period piece set in the mid 80's, the film relates the collegiate memoirs of Elizabeth Wurtzel, who now writes a music column for The New Yorker. Christina Ricci plays the part of Wurtzel and does passably well, though I couldn't help noticing the actual Wurtzel bears more than a slight resemblance to Anne Hathaway.

    The film gives a sympathetic account of Wurztel's struggles with substance abuse and depression while being a journalism prodigy and dealing with undergraduate studies at Harvard. Friends and family run out of patience in trying to secure help for her as she tailspins into a suicidal funk. Eventually, she allows herself to be medicated on Prozac, which sort of stands as the anticlimactic resolution of the film.

    Jason Biggs does a fine job portraying her first serious lover, and they have a couple very powerful scenes together which I would recommend that people watch if they are at all concerned about heir own tendencies to romantically obsess over other people. Jessica Lange falls a bit into melodrama in portraying Wurtzel's frazzled mother, but Michelle WIlliams gives a very strong performance as Wurtzel's supportive but overwhelmed roommate. Anne Heche turns in a *meh* performance as Wurtzels's shrink. Lou Reed plays himself and in one incredibly frightening scene he gently strokes Ricci's face (don't get too alarmed, it happens in a fantasy sequence).

    I find it sort of sadly hilarious that this film, which appositionally refers to America in its title never received a U.S. theatrical run. Americans should probably all watch this movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I think you have to know someone that behaves like Christina Ricci's character in this movie in order to appreciate the reality of the performance. I felt that it was very real and as such yet another tour de force for Christina.

    Shame on Miramax for burying this labour of love. Obviously the Weinsteins are not about art. Just remember Harvey ... you can't take it with you. This film has to be the only cult classic that has NEVER been released in the US.

    The energy for the plot is supplied by the trajectory of the main character played by Ricci. We follow her as she enters Harvard through her initial successes and through her problems that develop as she pushes herself too hard to achieve her own personal goals. Christina is beautiful and compelling throughout. Jessica Lange is also very good. The plot moves with good cadence and the cinematography is vibrant. The little girl at the end seems to symbolize the re-birth of the protagonist as she overcomes her demons with the help of prozac.
  • This film is about a young first year Harvard student's life with depression and personality problems.

    Christina Ricci's acting is superb in this film. She plays Lizzie very well, she manages to give a full range of emotional expressions. Most of the time, Lizzie's sad, so Christina Ricci had to pull a sad face most of the time. In addition to sadness, there is also joy, ecstasy, intoxication, rage and jealousy. All these emotions are fully and effectively displayed by Ricci.

    Jessica Lange acts very well in this film as well. She plays this over-controlling mother with a lot of anger. The scene with her arguing about the medical bills with Christina Ricci is amazing, they both displays brilliant acting skills.

    The film is not bad at all, it was a pity that it did not receive a theatrical release.
  • "Prozac Nation" is a case study of clinical depression with Ricci as a Harvard frosh trying to cope with her own identity crisis, poor self esteem, and uncontrollable mood swings; the expectations of an over-compensating divorced mother; the absenteeism of a shallow father; and the sincerity of a love she can't believe is real. The film does a good job of accurately representing the destructive influences of the disease of depression in spite murky flashbacks, a hazy narration by Ricci, and a melodramatic and contrived feel. A showcase for Ricci, who meets the demands of her role, this film's lukewarm reception may have more to do with the lack of understanding of the Jekyll-Hyde nature of the depressed person than a poor presentation of the character. (B)
  • It's silly to berate a movie that hasn't even come out. Having read the book, and been down the road of chronic depression for many months, I have to disagree with the first preview that claims this movie unworthy because of the image Wurtzel gives us of depression. Depression, sorry to burst Violetta's bubble, it a unique, personal hard fought battle for evey individual who suffers from it. That just happened to be Wurtzel's experience with her own depression. Needless to say I give the book my highest rating and hope to do the same with the movie. Prozac Nation was one of those movies I wanted to see as soon as I heard about it. I have seen the trailer a few times and couldn't wait for the film to be released into theaters. It was at first in limited release, which I don't understand why since it is a mainstream movie but anyway it finally arrived to my local theater today. So as soon as I could I rushed to the theater to see Prozac Nation.

    The movie's plot is very simple but at the same time very complex, Lizzie played by the beautiful and talented Christina Ricci is a depressed girl. Following up his critically acclaimed debut Insomnia (1997), Norwegian director Erik Skjoldbjaerg makes his first English-language feature with this adaptation of the novel 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. Prozac Nation then starts to develop into an unusual and original movie, which I for one have never seen before. A lot of symbolism, terrific acting, and a lot of dark past scenes ensue.

    In this film I really could not believe the acting. It was terrific all around. Christina Ricci proves that she can hold a lead role and do it flawlessly. Her role was perfect and involved a lot of different emotions, which she played off like a natural. But Christina Ricci's acting isn't the highlight of this film, that award goes to Jessica Lange who plays her role like she actually was going though this in real life. Her incredible acting kept getting stronger throughout the entire film. The supporting actors and actresses were all good as well. Michelle Williams who played Ruby, was really good in her role. Emily Perkins who played Ellen was very good as well as Anne Heche who played the doctor Sterling.

    The film's script was another strong point. It was very good! I never knew what was going to happen next. I thought I did a few times but I was wrong. The script also had a lot of symbolism in it and if you watch the movie closely you will be able to catch it. I also like how the movie didn't have the typical Hollywood ending at the end. It was very different and I didn't expect what happened to happen. The writer, Galt Niederhoffer did a great job and surprisingly this was his second film. I wish I could shake this man's hand for making such a great piece of cinema. I am really looking forward to his next movie Lonesome Jim that comes out in 2005. I loved the director's use of camera angles and the many views of various landscapes and the sky. It was very creative.

    So what else can I say about the film, it was very independent like which I am sure will turn the normal moviegoers off right away. The movie moves slowly to build its story and suspense. It does this flawlessly. It's really amazing. If you want a great movie that has an unusual and original story, great acting and lots of hidden messages and symbolism then go see Prozac Nation and enjoy. If you don't like movies that make you think then skip this one because it's not for you. It was a terrific film from a great new director.I've been looking forward to seeing Prozac Nation since I first saw the poster for the film. The poster itself seemed rather amusing and then when I had seen the trailer for the film and wanted to watch the film even more. I usually enjoy Christina Ricci on the big screen. She is definitely a great actress. Lots of clever dialog, great acting, and a unique story ensue.

    The acting in the film was top notch. I think Christina Ricci's performance was very noteworthy. I liked her character. Lizzie was nice girl who was very sweet and innocent. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers performance was another great role for his resume. I liked how his character had many sides to him. I felt they all played their characters well.

    I think what is amazing about the script is the fact that a. the writer never wrote a film anything like it before and b. it's a very original film. I know I haven't seen every movie but I never seen a movie like this. The story was unique, the characters were likable, and the dialog was rather clever. I applaud these two screenwriters for their effort on the script. Sadly I doubt the movie will do well. There was only three people in the theater counting me and the story is rather odd and original so I don't know if it will really trigger much interest from the typical moviegoers.

    Erik Skjoldbjærg was the director of Prozac Nation. I have not seen his movies Insomnia yet but I'll watch it as soon as I can get my paws on it. I liked how in the film, Erik Skjoldbjærg really captured being in Harvard and being depressed, showing everyone in the opening scene of the film. It really lets you know how life is for Lizzie. The director also did a good job of directing the actors and making them connect. I really felt for the characters in this film. I liked that they had this great connection with each other on screen.

    So to summarize, I overall really enjoyed Prozac Nation. The cast is great, as is its story. I feel the film won't attract much attention since the crap fest wholesome teen movies and sex comedies rule the box office, it's an indie film and the fact that Prozac Nation itself isn't aimed at the average moviegoer crowd. I recommend this film though to anyone who wants to see a film that is smart, original and witty. It delivers great performances and some sad moments. I really enjoyed the film and will probably go see it again if I can. My final rating for Prozac Nation is an 8/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    PLOT: A young woman (Christina Ricci) struggles with depression during her first year at Harvard. Based on Elizabeth Wurtzel's novel.

    I saw this film, after reading the excellent book by Elizabeth Wurtzel. I had very high hopes, but unfortunately, they weren't meet in this one. Maybe be I was expecting it to live up to Girl, Interrupted, starring Winona Ryder. But there was just something that didn't quite work in Prozac Nation. Still, there's no denying that Ricci gave everything she had to this project, creating an incendiary performance that's startling in its starkness. She refuses to soften up the tart-tongued, often obnoxious Wurtzel, nor does she comfort the audience with little "Can you believe how nasty I am?" asides the way many actresses do when they're called upon to play unlikable characters.

    The movie, though, is perhaps too crystal clear. Ricci and the other actors are very good at establishing exactly what kind of people their characters are and how they will respond in all circumstances. Consequently, there are few surprises. No one can step out of character to lend Lizzie a helping hand. In fact, the movie is practically a commercial for medication over human compassion, which is unfortunate though possibly true in many cases.

    Skjoldbjaerg's attempts to visualize Lizzie's moods through speed-ed-up action and fuzzy double images remind you of bad student films of the '70s and '80s, it was awful. Otherwise, he directs with intelligence and is smart enough to realize that with Ricci as his star, the less fuss the better. Cinematographer Erling Thurmann-Andersen goes for somber, dark tones, while editor James Lyons moves things along at a crisp pace.

    Overall, I wasn't terribly impressed by this film. Christina Ricci's performance was amazing, and touched me, it pushes the film up about a mile. Maybe you should read the book, then watch the film and decide for yourself, but in comparison between them, I prefer the book. This thin drama is only 98 minutes long, but it moves so slowly, it feels like the cinematic equivalent of reading a book with very small amounts of text, could have been much better with a different director and script. OK, but not what I thought I'd see, it is certainly worth it for Ricci fans though, which is definitely me.


    See It If You Liked: Girl, Interrupted, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, The Basketball Diaries, Thirteen
  • It seems no matter what I see her in, Christina Ricci seems full of promise but fails to deliver. Sure she can cry and scream, but Prozac Nation sees Ricci totally out of her depth, perhaps I'm being too harsh.... okay, I'm shifting the blame to the director. Jessica Lange is outrageous and almost reaches Faye Dunaway heights of megadramatisation. Unfortunately I think Lange peaked with Frances and it was all downhill from there. There was every chance of this film being slick and witty while tackling depression head on. What we get instead is poorly acted hysteria dressed up with a stereotypical try hard eighties veneer. I really had no sense of the films eighties backdrop, since I was unsatisfied with the lame attempt at making believe it was the eighties just because ms Ricci wears a madonna inspired dress to her "lost my virginity" celebration. Cmon everyone, you are ALL better than this. The filmmakers should hang their heads in shame, and as a result of disappointment, Elizabeth Wurtzel could probably make a bundle if she sued for "irrepairable emotional damages" as a result of the finished product. go on lizzie, sue! I would
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Your not meant to see the outside view, because the disease is nihilistic. I thought the movie did an amazing job portraying something that is so internal. That is how you feel, like a ghost with the world running around you. That is how people around you will react, they either leave because they simply can not handle the "symptoms" - insults, random behaviour, self destructive behaviour, etc... Those who love you can see past it, but it still is difficult. The movie is depressing, what do you expect that is the topic. I cried throughout most of it and was simply amazed. It was like watching my mom throw stuff at me, my dad and mom screaming at each other. The movie shows why depressed people are driven to prozac. If you want to try to understand what depression is like, I strongly recommend this movie - however if you've never suffered from depression it won't be that surprising if you end up saying at the end of the movie "I don't understand." That is the way it is, one day you are fine, the next day you can't get out of bed for months, you start screaming at people for nothing and hate yourself for doing it, you go paranoid, in essence you simply fall apart. Kudos to everyone in this movie, especially the actresses and the director for being so faithful to the disease and the mind set that comes with it.
  • Last night I got to see an early preview screener of Prozac Nation. Because I love everything that Christina Ricci does I was very excited at first, but as the movie continued I started to wonder where it was going. Based on a true story, it is simply about Christina Ricci's character and her struggle with depression, drugs, friends and family as you can probably tell from the title. In my opinion this movie moved too fast, and it was way too dramatic. I would say there was a dramatic moment every five minutes, and the movie moved through her life extremely fast, and this left no room for us to connect with Christina Ricci's character. Christina Ricci's performance was fantastic as always but Jessica Lange stood out throughout the whole movie, and I believe this movie's success will be all because of her and Christina Ricci. I would rate this 4 out of 10 and I would suggest you rent this one or read the books by Elizabeth Wurtzel they are good and definitely worth checking out.
  • If you're coming to this film to learn something about depression, forget it: you won't learn anything except how not to write a screenplay on the subject. I understand the intent was to show how severe depression can turn an average person into a complete wreck, but the result is the most one-dimensional character I've ever seen in a Hollywood feature... no small feat. Christina Ricci as Elizabeth spends the entirety of this film screaming at the top of her lungs, viciously insulting someone, bursting into tears or some combination of the three (the only exceptions being some quiet sulking at the beginning and end). There is not the slightest hint of what she might be like WITHOUT depression... not the faintest glimmer of any other aspects of her personality... she just screams. At one point, her roommate tells her, "Lizzie, you're such a fun person to be around when you're not being depressed," and my reaction was, "She IS?" It seemed odd that the writers would include this comment without giving us any examples, but this script is a lesson in incompetence. It has no discernible structure or flow at all; instead, it consists of a series of awkwardly strung-together scenes of Lizzie screaming, then ends. Character development? No... Scenes of her everyday existence, i.e. going to classes, that might possibly be important details? No... Screaming at maximum volume? CHECK. It's not quite enough, I'm afraid. 1/10.
  • I have a question for the writers and producers of "Prozac Nation": What is the root cause and what is the solution to the widespread problem of personal depression in America? In the moving performance of Christina Ricci as Liz Wurtzel, the film portrays a young woman with unlimited potential as a Harvard student and as a writer. But this is not a story of success, only one of self-destruction as we watch Liz bring misery into the lives everyone who comes in contact with her. The film examines divorce, family dysfunction, drugs, alcohol, and prescription medication as possible reasons for Liz's unhappiness. But none of those superficial explanations are satisfactory.

    At some point in the film, it would have been helpful to suggest that Liz needs to take responsibility for her life and her problems. No light was shed on what the film alleged to be a runaway problem in "The United States of Depression." In the story, Liz had a caring therapist (Anne Heche), a caring roommate (Michele Williams), a caring boyfriend (Jason Biggs), and a troubled but caring parent (Jessica Lange). In a key scene in the film, Liz is lying in a hospital bed watching the break-up of the space shuttle Challenger. Instead of equating Challenger with Liz's life, the film should have used the image as a starting point for her healing and recovery.

    This film reminded me of a generic made-for-cable "victim" film on the Lifetime network. An excellent cast was wasted, especially in the earnest performance of Christina Ricci. The real-life Elizabeth Wurtzel obviously found within herself the resources to cope with her depression and become a successful author. It is unfortunate that the film could not offer us even the slightest glimpse into her courageous spirit.
  • stensson16 November 2003
    Christina Ricci performs a piece of art here. Theatrical, hysterical, loving and in every second totally natural.

    This could have been pretentious, but it isn't that at all. You meet a person here, who relates to her mother (good acting by Jessica Lange as well) and her father and her female friend and her boyfriends, but have great difficulty in relating to herself in any possible way.

    Ricci is an artist already, although being very young. You will hear much more from here in the future.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Yes, Ricci has a nice nude scene near the beginning of the movie, for all those who have wondered what her chest really looks like. But that is NOT the reason to see "Prozac Nation." About 20 when it was filmed, Ricci is in the role of Elizabeth Wurtzel, whose autobiography forms the basis for this movie. The subject is depression, and Liz suffers so badly that she cannot function at Harvard, and cannot keep girlfriends or boyfriends. Finally, with the help of her shrink and an appropriate dose of Prozac, she is finally able to clear her mind and do some productive writing.

    Ricci does such a remarkable job here that it is hard to take your eyes off her. She makes the difficult role very believable. Jason Biggs is good as a toned down Rafe, from Austin, who becomes her boyfriend. Anne Heche has received some criticism in her role as the Psychiatrist Dr. Sterling, but I thought she played it rather well, and I don't often like Heche. Jessica Lange is in fine form as the mother, Mrs. Wurtzel .
  • jimbeaux10112 March 2003
    I saw this film about a year ago at a special screening. Afterwards, my friend and I were asked to participate in a discussion. Most everyone disliked the film intensely. It is/was extremely disjointed and introduced themes and people and did not follow up with either. Michelle Williams (Dawson's Creek) gave the best performance in the film. Jessica Lange was so miscast as Ricci's Jewish mother. First of, she was much too old, considering she was supposed to have borne this college student as a teen herself. Her accent was incredibly bad. All in all it was a miserable experience. It will be interesting to see this again, a year later and hopefully much revised.
  • As a fan of Elizabeth Wurtzel's witty and emotionally manipulative memoir, I was disappointed with the melodramatics of 'Prozac Nation', the motion picture. The essence of Wurtzel's novel is lost in its screen adaptation, and despite the

    screenwriter's attempts to structure a plot around a series of disconnected

    episodes within the book, each character is under-developed, and the college

    setting laughable. What certainly worked for the film, was a terrific ensemble cast, particularly Jessica Lange, who is suitably under-stated, and moving in her portrayal of a destructive mother. This, for me, is Christina Ricci's 'Girl

    Interrupted", as she also produced the project, indicating that there is an

    attachment between the actress and the piece. She, for the most, is utterly

    convincing as the self-indulgent, erratically manic, and destructive Elizabeth, honing the precocious depressive tremendously well. Which is, either engaging or incredibly un-nerving for the audience. Depending on your position, the

    audience must understand that Elizabeth is not a character that we are

    supposed to empathise with or pity, but be affected, and repulsed by, and I

    guess that is what can distract viewers from the film's loose narrative. Despite its perks, the film plunges into soap style melodrama that distracts and disengages from perfectly good performances. The film is saturated with camera shots that are out of focus, and sped up frames that keep Elizabeth, 'The Outsider" still, and detached from everything around her, and whilst this can work on a

    television show like "Party of Five", or 'Dawson's Creek", the seriousness of the material, does not call for lazy film making. "Prozac Nation" is an overall, unsatisfying movie experience, and for someone who waited four years to see what was constructed, I must say that I agree with Elizabeth Wurtzel's thoughts against it. What I feel really indicated the drop in quality, was the film's jacket tagline, 'The most controversial film of the year". If that is not a shameless call to "eccentric" or thrill seeking audience members , then I do not know what is... it takes a very serious issue, and attempts to make younger people interested and attracted to the idea of mental illness, with little originality, or inner truth. Jessica Lange and Ricci, are superb, and work extremely well together, though are drowned by the morose structure, dull musical selection (although the score is lovely), and severely under-developed and stock supporting characters.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was glad to see that this was recently on one of the movie channels, since the DVD isn't available from Netflix. I'd just read the book. As someone currently prescribed to Prozac, this was a must for me, to see how--if at all-- I could identify with the character from the book/movie. Some incidents were identifiable to me. The events depicted occurred over 20 years ago, but there are still many people on Prozac today. Coming to accept that you have depression may be hard for some people, but I came to accept it and learned not to be ashamed to admit I have been on this med. This film seems to convey that message. Don't be afraid to admit you feel depressed. You can be helped.
  • for me,Prozac Nation was just didn't engage me on any level.i didn't care about the main character,or any of the characters,for that matter.i just didn't see the point of it.usually after watching a movie,i come to this site soon after and put in my two cents.this time i couldn't really be bothered until now,almost two weeks later.anyway,suffice to say,i didn't get anything out of the movie.basically i lost ninety five +/- minutes i'll never get back,in which i could have been doing something else more productive.if you do end up watching this movie and mange to get to the halfway point,and decide to watch to the end,(like i did)thinking it will get better,trust me,it won't.but that's just my opinion.for me,Prozac Nation is a 4/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This young filmmaker does one thin superlatively: he begins his film well. Within the first few moments, we know the entire setup, a masterpiece of compression is blocking and two damaged women. It is almost worth the effort as we then begin a long slow slog through what is supposed to be the deconstruction of a mind to a wasted state.

    The curse of this is that it follows a book written by the woman in question. Of course she went through this. Of course there is something worthy in understanding the nature of the pieces that fall off. But the thing is that this woman was dumb and crazy, so she has little to tell us about the experience, save that it happened and her mom was crazy.

    We are tipped off when we learn that she is just the sort of writer that "Rolling Stone" desired, needed to write about its core: rock music. The music of this era -- at least the pop music that RS nourished -- was vapid and their perspective was glued to the fan bus. They needed dopes who could string words together to appear passionate, and this waif fit the bill. Her report of her journey is not reflective or insightful, and the filmmaker has added little other than the stellar Jessica Lange, who does well enough.

    I came to this because I like how Ricci leverages disconnectedness. She is not a great actress in the sense of being able to go anywhere. But she does understand distance from one's self. She is what makes that first scene work. There is a lot of craft in that morose posture.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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