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Karen and Richard Carpenter are young musicians living with their parents in Downey, California. Richard shows great promise as a songwriter and Karen, who plays drums, begins to sing vocals, thrusting the duo into stardom. They become wildly successful, Karen's striking voice and Richard's soft melodies capturing the essence of the nation's yearning for calm after the turbulent Sixties. But Karen strives for perfection and becomes increasingly fearful of her weight, despite being a slender woman. Eventually she is diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, a mental disease relating to stress, lack of control, and low self-esteem. A fight for Karen's life ensues. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Ranked #45 on Entertainment Weekly's "Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time" See more »
In the opening sequence, a crew member can be glimpsed at the end of the hallway as the camera rounds the corner on its way into Karen's bedroom. See more »
The affliction which eventually destroyed Karen Carpenter is one that plagues many, many young women like her. The name of this private obsession, anorexia nervosa.
What IS anorexia nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa is a condition of self starvation, which affects mostly women in their adolescence or young adulthood. Sufferers desperately want to be thin, and often transform their bodies to such an extent that menstruation ceases, and they revert to a pre-pubescent stage.
Do anorexics ever get hungry?
[...] See more »
I found out about this movie in the 50 greatest cult films issue of Entertainment Weekly. It sounded like a funny, semi-serious biography of Karen Carpenter, whose music I do happen to enjoy. When I finally watched it, I realized that the movie was a very serious and in depth look at anorexia. It's haunting, brilliant, moving, and touching. I had never seen the life of an anorexic person played out so well as by that barbie doll. It's a shame that this film has not been widely distributed, because it's a darn fine movie that is very educational.
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