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on November 10, 2005
I loved this movie. Ms. Ricci's acting has grown far beyond her role as 'Wednesday Addams' in the Addams family pictures, she made me want to either cry or hug her and tell her that it would be okay. I saw my mother and I in her interactions with Jessica Lange. This was a well-made film and it showed what it is like to be depressed from the depressed individual's POV. All of the actors were wonderful, the script was excellent, the cinematography was spot-on. I really felt for these people. I am recommending this movie to everyone that I meet!
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on March 25, 2013
Unfortunately, the love she needs is of the coddling, unconditional, and codependent kind - something few people can give her without getting smothered or giving themselves up to the permanent role of understanding caretaker. She has a love/hate relationship with her mother, a (mostly) hate relationship with her father, and is quick to sabotage her friendships and love interests the minute they show the slightest sign of imagined betrayal. Lizzie is intelligent but depressed and insecure, and most likely suffering from borderline personality disorder. In spite of all that, Christina Ricci makes her into a not-unlikable character, just as Elizabeth herself is in her autobiographical books (especially More, Now, Again). You just wish she wasn't so damn neurotic! Empathetic souls will be able to relate to her problems, while fully understanding the frustrations of her best friend and boyfriend (Michelle Williams and Jason Biggs respectively, both in fine performances). A great portrayal of an emotionally tortured young woman.
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Reading some of the reviews, it's clear that Prozac Nation is taken as a Rorschach test among viewers, such as those who say the experiences of protagonist Elizabeth (Christina Ricci) spoke to what they have experienced in life. Others note Prozac Nation isn't quite a movie about depression: there is too much else going on (I agree with this assessment). Dramas about mental illness can often be rewarding to sit through, either as edutainment or a method of gauging one's own life, but Prozac Nation is more like watching an author's indulgences... which brings us to the strange part...

Prozac Nation is the apparently true story of Elizabeth Wurtzel, who earned her BA at Harvard and her JD at Yale: no small feat for a mentally unbalanced student. I haven't and will not read her books because (as stated by a NYT book critic in 1994 that was generally positive) "self-pitying passages make the reader want to shake the author, and remind her that there are far worse fates than growing up during the 70's in New York and going to Harvard." Elizabeth brings back some rather unpleasant memories of a girlfriend like her when I was in college for the first time (although I don't claim to have been mentally healthy at the time either).

Unless I am missing some kind of metaphor, Christina Ricci's gratuitous nudity in the beginning served no purpose whatsoever in the story. Maybe it was something about her character's mom barging into the room? Or was it just to sell more DVDs? The latter is the most likely explanation if we are to judge by reviews such as, "Watch the first 15 minutes for Christina completely naked." Perhaps Ricci was stoked about it: another example of a former child star finally getting a role where she can strip down and say to the world, "Look, I'm not a kid anymore!" Alyssa Milano did the same in one of the worst vampire flicks ever made, Embrace of the Vampire (1995). At least Christina Ricci didn't feel the need to get silicone implants to show off in Prozac Nation.

There were some decent scenes or visually enthusiastic moments towards the end; for example, the Challenger explosion occurring as Elizabeth's mother is mugged, Elizabeth's subsequent frank conversation with her mother at home, and Elizabeth's view of the world while newly on Prozac. Overall though, despite the formidable Jessica Lange's substantial role and some okay scenes propelled by Ricci, Prozac Nation is a fairly pointless and annoying flick.
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on April 1, 2016
To start, I'll say I read the book twelve years before seeing this movie. I didn't like the book that much (despite my being a 20-year-old girl on Prozac at the time), but I had to give the movie a shot. The acting is fantastic. Christina Ricci and Jessica Lange play their parts perfectly, but really, everyone did a great job with what they were given. The problem lies in the fact that the main character is just not remotely likeable. In a story like this, you have to be able to find some redeeming qualities in the person around whom the story's centered, but there's just nothing. She's awful to her friend, her mother, her boyfriend, her therapist, etc. This is not a reasonable portrait of someone who's simply depressed and requires Prozac. It's the story of an over-the-top narcissist, and it has no discernible climax (though it does have a ridiculously quick resolution). I wouldn't recommend it.
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Lizzie (Christina Ricci) is a brilliant writer, headed to Harvard and a wonderful future. Unfortunately, along the way, she begins to experience severe mood swings, that hurtle her back and forth between extremes in personality. Lizzie finds herself both drawn to and repelled by her loved ones, especially her warring, infantile parents (Jessica Lange and Nicholas Campbell), her college dorm-mate, Ruby (Michelle Williams), and her bewildered boyfriend, Rafe (Jason Biggs). With her life torn in several directions, and her behavior spiraling out of all control, Lizzie seeks help from Dr. Sterling (Anne Heche), who offers her counseling and a possible chemical aid. PROZAC NATION is a showcase for Ms. Ricci, as she is in every scene of the movie. Her portrayal of a woman in the throes of deep depressive states is quite good. Her sudden jumps from one extreme emotion to the next are as believable as they are jarring. Highly recommended, especially for Christina fans...
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on April 29, 2015
Christina Ricci gives a good performance, but somewhat outdated and facile depiction of mental illness. The theme has been explored with far more sensitivity and depth than this movie attempts. I had expected a commentary on the use of medication, but this was not really explored, and seemed almost tacked on at the end as an afterthought.
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on February 27, 2016
This movie needed better psych consultants in diagnosing Mental disorders. It's very clear depression was not the only issue she has. I'm surprised this was not brought up. I suppose they were going after the Prozac issue but they missed the mark here. Otherwise not a bad movie and worth watching.
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on November 22, 2015
The acting was great.I love Jessica Lange especially.The story gave a good look into depression which more people need to understand.I like true stories too,even though I feel bad about what the characters have to go through at times.Overall a wonderful movie.The only complaint is certain parts were dragged out too long.
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on April 21, 2016
A mind-blowing, chilling, dark film about how a strong, over-involved mother can damage a young woman to the point of insanity. Very realistic and gripping - far more hard hitting than the standard Hollywood movie.
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on February 13, 2016
I was glad to see that this was recently on one of the movie channels, since the DVD isn't available from Netflix. I'd just read the book. As someone currently prescribed to Prozac, this was a must for me, to see how--if at all-- I could identify with the character from the book/movie. Some incidents were identifiable to me. The events depicted occurred over 20 years ago, but there are still many people on Prozac today. Coming to accept that you have depression may be hard for some people, but I came to accept it and learned not to be ashamed to admit I have been on this med. This film seems to convey that message. Don't be afraid to admit you feel depressed. You can be helped.
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