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Prozac Nation (2001)

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A young woman struggles with depression during her first year at Harvard.

Director:

Erik Skjoldbjærg

Writers:

Elizabeth Wurtzel (based on the book by), Galt Niederhoffer (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christina Ricci ... Elizabeth
Jason Biggs ... Rafe
Anne Heche ... Dr. Sterling
Michelle Williams ... Ruby
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ... Noah (as Jonathan Rhys-Meyers)
Jessica Lange ... Mrs. Wurtzel
Jesse Moss ... Sam
Nicholas Campbell ... Donald (as Nick Campbell)
Zoe Miller Zoe Miller ... Elizabeth at 12
Sheila Paterson Sheila Paterson ... Grandmother
Rob Freeman ... Mister Cool
Nicole Parker Nicole Parker ... Waitress (as Nicole Parker Smith)
Frida Betrani ... Julia
Klodyne Rodney Klodyne Rodney ... Nurse
Ian Tracey ... Rolling Stone Editor
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Young and depressed in America See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Germany | Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 June 2003 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

A Prozac népe See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jessica Lange was mentioned in the "Prozac Nation" book. See more »

Goofs

Lizzie is in her room writing and you can hear Bruce Springsteen singing "The Promise" in the background, but they show the album "Born to Run" on the record player. The Promise was not released until 1999 and Born to Run came out in 1975. See more »

Quotes

Elizabeth: Now mom and dad really had something to fight over: me. Then one day my dad disappeared. No numbers, no letters - just gone. I wrote to seventeen magazine, a long letter about us. They wanted to publish it as an article, but kept asking, your dad going away, does he come back? Does it have a happy ending? In reality it didn't, but I thought, what the hell, I'll give them what they want.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, the close-up shots of the letters Elizabeth is typing form the sentence, "I hate myself and I want to die." See more »

Connections

References The Last Waltz (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Perfect Day
Written and Performed by Lou Reed
Used by permission of Screen Gems - EMI Music Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

A Unique and Original Film With Outstanding Acting
8 April 2004 | by frostedpinkcupcakeSee all my reviews

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


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