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Prozac Nation (2003)

Christina Ricci , Jonathan Rhys Meyers , Erik Skjoldbjærg  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)

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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: 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: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00094ASC2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,574 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

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

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).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to my nightmare, Welcome to my breakdown January 11, 2006
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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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Movie Gets You Gradually... Then Suddenly October 11, 2005
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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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Personality disorder first, depression second February 5, 2008
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Love this movie helps me understand depression. How it's dealt with and treated. The hardships families have to deal with!
Published 17 days ago by renee
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets to the point
I especially enjoyed the performances of both Christina and gorgeous Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who is a young up-and-coming Irish actor.
Published 20 days ago by Francine Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars Good watch
The story was good but didn't show enough of the effects of prozac. It focused a lot on the behavior before the drug instead of both.
Published 1 month ago by Ben
3.0 out of 5 stars mediocre movie
Movie was ok especially for a true story. I felt the movie was sad in nature but overall was good to watch.
Published 1 month ago by Christi L Wakefield
1.0 out of 5 stars Too much nudity
Too much nudity and poor acting didn't watch the entire movie because it was offensive to me. I will avoid this type of movie in the future
Published 2 months ago by Eleanor Talley
4.0 out of 5 stars Exposes a Small Piece of Each of Us!
Dysfunctional family just trying to survive. Don't know if she finished college, but at least she can help her mother out financially with the proceeds from her book!
Published 2 months ago by Tretre3
3.0 out of 5 stars What was the point? (spoilers)
I've written a detailed plot synopsis; you can skip it to find other commentary on the quality of the film, and criticism of its portrayal of mental illness below. Read more
Published 2 months ago by the angels have the phone box
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Right
It was good. I just didn't love it. The story line was incomplete and it wasn't quite what I expected.
Published 2 months ago by Michelle
3.0 out of 5 stars Proza Naton
That picture is deceptive. The story is about this girl growing up. I would not watch it again Sort of depressing to me
Published 2 months ago by Kan
4.0 out of 5 stars Prozac nation
Surprisingly dark look into a young woman's boughts of depression and the path it took her to seek help. Great movie.
Published 2 months ago by carly
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