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Prozac Nation

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Product Details

  • Actors: Christina Ricci, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jessica Lange, Anne Heche, Jason Biggs
  • Directors: Erik Skjoldbjærg
  • Writers: Elizabeth Wurtzel, Frank Deasy, Galt Niederhoffer, Larry Gross
  • Producers: Andrea Sperling, Andrew Sugerman, Avi Lerner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 5, 2005
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00094ASC2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Prozac Nation" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Anatomy of a Scene" segment from the Sundance Channel

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Award winners Christina Ricci (CURSED, MONSTER) and Jessica Lange (BIG FISH, ROB ROY) star in this emotionally charged true story about a journey into excess! When talented young writer Elizabeth Wurtzel (Ricci) earns a scholarship to Harvard, she sees it as her chance to escape the pressures of her working-class background and concentrate on her true talent. But what starts out so promising leads to self-destructive behavior and paralyzing depression that reflects an entire generation's struggle to navigate the effects of divorce, drugs, sex, and high expectations. Based on the best-selling autobiographical novel, PROZAC NATION also stars Michelle Williams (THE STATION AGENT), Anne Heche (JOHN Q), Jason Biggs (JERSEY GIRL), and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM).


Fans of Christina Ricci will note that the saucer-eyed actress takes a big leap from deadpan-child and grumpy-ingenue roles with Prozac Nation, an adaptation of Elizabeth Wurtzel's bestselling book. Ricci puts her all into playing Lizzie, a self-absorbed Ivy League writer wannabe who alienates friends and family with her out-of-control mood swings and other chemical imbalances. Ricci is committed and convincing, but nothing she does ameliorates Lizzie's exasperating personality; spending 90 minutes around this person is an eternity of tantrums. Around to provide audience stand-ins are Jason Biggs, Michelle Williams, and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, all of whom disapprove of Lizzie's self-destructive behavior. Jessica Lange, professional as always, is Lizzie's brittle mother. If the movie really did capture the sense of the zeitgeist suggested by its grandiose title, or if it carried some intriguing stylistic urgency that carried us into its depressive labyrinth, perhaps Lizzie's journey would be palatable. But the long delay between Prozac Nation's shooting (in 2001) and its emergence on cable-TV and DVD is all too easy to understand. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

If you don't like movies that make you think then skip this one because it's not for you.
There are plenty of people who are diagnosed with depression and given drugs for no real good reason other than their testimony on how much they fear life.
Jeremy A. Zentner
I was surprised to see how many critics panned the film, citing Ricci's character as too unlikeable and without redeeming qualities.
Jason Whitt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Schtinky VINE VOICE on January 11, 2006
Format: DVD
Evidently based on a true story, 'Prozac Nation' documents the life of Elizabeth Wurtzel (played expertly by Christina Ricci), a young woman from a unstable broken family, earns a scholarship to Harvard for a journalism degree. It's no surprise that Lizzie is depressed, her parents are each dysfunctional in their own right. Lizzie's mother (skillfully played by Jessica Lange) worries that Lizzie will isolate herself in college. Lizzie tries not to let her mother down, but depression is not a beast that is so easily tamed.

Isolation, substance abuse, withdrawing, avoiding conflict, staying up for days, brain-cycling (like a short circuit), not bathing, sudden outbursts of anger, fear of becoming close to others, subconscious attempts to prove oneself unworthy, obsessive-compulsive behavior, all are signs of clinical depression. 'Prozac Nation', with the expert performance of Christina Ricci, shows every inch of Lizzie's slide into deeper and deeper depression.

At one point, Lizzie says, "How can I escape the demons in my head?" As a person being successfully treated for clinical depression, this phrase alone literally struck home with me. 'Prozac Nation' is an all-out, no-holes-barred look at what it is like to suffer from this disorder. The movie is very well done, and you will either find yourself identifying with Lizzie or hating her for being self-centered.

Thrown into the mix is the fact that Lizzie is a writer, and very few of the most talented writers would be considered 'normal' people. Lizzie herself even uses a quote from Hemmingway's "The Sun Also Rises" and finds identity within it. Good writers stay inside their own head too much, and Lizzie has talent in her work, winning the College Journalism Award for 1985.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By H. A Truett VINE VOICE on October 11, 2005
Format: DVD
Aside from the starting scene with a completely naked Christina Ricci, it may well be one of my all-time favorite movies. Though, I am sure, my reasons for that may be the same reasons many people will not understand the movie at all. Let me give you a quick spill on what the movie is about.

It is based on the by Elizabeth Wurtzel, the true story of a girl (Lizzie) in the 80's who goes on Prozac. She is depressed. The movie shows her experiences at college as she spirals to the point of being put on Prozac.

Now, why did I like this movie so much? There are a couple of reasons. One was the camera angles. I am not usually one who even notices that stuff, but there were some really interesting shots in this movie. It gave another dimension to the story. Second, the lines. There were some amazing lines about depression. One that I remember was, "One moring you wake up and realize you're afraid you might live." Repeat that to yourself. Think about it. If you have ever been in a clinical state of depression, you understand that statement. It feels real on your tongue, familiar in your mouth. You may have even said it.

The main reason that I liked this movie had nothing to do with anything artistic. I loved and hated Lizzie all at one time, because I could see myself in her. Granted, I skipped out on drugs, alcohol, and smoking. I was never one to sling my anger to the outside, as she did. At least, not as often. But the things she was feeling. How she would do things she didn't want to do and couldn't understand how they were happening, why she was needing to do them... I have been there.
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51 of 60 people found the following review helpful By J. Morganstein on February 5, 2008
Format: DVD
What strikes me most about this film is that nearly all information about it depicts it as a young woman's struggle with depression. The character (at least in the movie) being portrayed certainly appears to be experiencing depression, to be sure. However, barely 15 minutes into this picture, the presence of her Borderline Personality Disorder is amazingly clear. This condition, often accompanied by depression, exerts an impact on the effected person that can span from problematic to disabling. It is often overwhelming for the individual, people around them and care providers. I comment on this to clarify that the person depicted in this film is not, by any stretch of the imagination, merely dealing with "depression". Truthfully, that was probably the least of her struggles. While I certainly don't know what this woman went through, the notion that people would come to see her experience as characteristic of merely "depression" is troubling indeed. As a mental health provider who has worked with people experiencing Borderline Personality Disorder, depression or both, it's vital to understand the importance of disordered personality in a person struggles. Most people with depression do not cut themselves, flirt persistently with suicide, behave impulsively with regard to sex and drugs, or have acute and unpredictable episodes of anger, hostility or cruelty toward others; all of those are common features of Borderline Personality Disorder. Perhaps the most poignant line in the film comes when Elizabeth's friend Ruby, with tears in her eyes, appears to stun and anger Elizabeth by stating "I'm not crying because of what you said. I'm crying because I can't imagine how painful it must be to be you." Individuals suffering from this personality disorder may sum it up exactly this way.Read more ›
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