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Prozac Nation (2001)

 -  Drama  -  13 June 2003 (Portugal)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 11,518 users  
Reviews: 113 user | 43 critic

A young woman struggles with depression during her first year at Harvard. Based on Elizabeth Wurtzel's novel.



(based on the book by), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Noah (as Jonathan Rhys-Meyers)
Donald (as Nick Campbell)
Zoe Miller ...
Elizabeth at 12
Sheila Paterson ...
Mister Cool
Nicole Parker ...
Waitress (as Nicole Parker Smith)
Klodyne Rodney ...
Rolling Stone Editor


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based On The New York Times Best-Selling Book! See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug content, sexuality/nudity and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


| |


Release Date:

13 June 2003 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Prozac Nation  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed in 2000, Miramax films planned on releasing the film in late 2001, but shelved it indefinitely in the US. A number of reasons were given for the delay, from the unlikeable nature of the central heroine to writer Elizabeth Wurtzel's offensive comments about 9/11, to the fact that Wurtzel noted that the movie was "horrible." The movie finally debuted on the Starz! network in 2005 when, following the exit of Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein from Miramax, all pending films were released, in one form or another. See more »


When Lizzie's Dad takes a photo, camera is in horizontal position. When Lizzie finds the photo, it seems like it was taken by vertically-oriented camera. See more »


Elizabeth: [shouting at her mother] I'm not your god-damned monkey!
See more »


References It's a Wonderful Life (1946) See more »


Ivory Tower
Written by Barry Shank
Performed by The Long Ryders
Courtesy of Frontier Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

A Unique and Original Film With Outstanding Acting

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

26 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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