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.
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 Elizabeth is clearing the table near the end of the film, she clears away the plates of her mother and grandmother twice. See more »
That article... it was just wish fulfillment. I was writing about how I wanted things to be. And the way people talking about it, the way you talked about it, it made it seem real.
Well maybe it can be.
No, it was just a dream I held onto for way too long.
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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 »
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.
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