The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students who wants to search through his papers and her estranged sister who shows up to help settle his affairs.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Wurtzel is a teenager accepted into Harvard with a scholarship in journalism. She has been raised by her divorced mother Mrs. Wurtzel since she was two years old, but she misses her father and feels needy and depressive. When she joins the university, she lives with a roommate Ruby and has her sexual initiation with Noah. Her article for the local column in Crimson newspaper is awarded by Rolling Stone magazine. Lizzie becomes abusive in sex and drugs, and her existential crisis and depression increases and she hurts her friends and her mother that love her, while dating Rafe. Mrs. Wurtzel sends her to an expensive psychiatric treatment with Dr. Sterling, in spite of having difficulties paying for her medical bills and therapy sessions. After a long period of treatment under medication, and suicide attempt, Lizzie stabilizes and adjusts to the real world. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A misunderstood movie about a misunderstood disease
"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)
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