Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2021
I hate to dislike something just because it is not politically correct, especially fiction, but really, what if someone in a position to make decisions bases one of them from this film? It happens often in this day and age of lazy authority. Any teacher, parent or person in a similar position handling a teenager with schizoaffective disorder using this movie as a reference to attempt insight or even empathy to someone in their lives, will have events turn out poorly. I would have loved for any delusional manifestation to be 3 fully fleshed out characters with interesting personalities that give me friendly advice and assurance that they are here to protect me. That is how the main character is affected by his illness, he has 3 great imaginary friends and one omnipotent evil voice that suggests people don't like him, this is Hollywood confusing schizophrenia with Dissociative identity disorder, like they always do, and describing a what would be a terrible hellscape of perceived dangers and warnings in a watered down and family friendly way. So much of this movie masquerades as a guide to dealing with this disorder and it's just plain harmful, the main character at one point lists a number of specific REAL medications that don't work, and takes a new experimental medication that suddenly does work. So without touching on how hard it is to be correctly diagnosed in an age of incompetent doctors, it also skips over how incredibly expensive these medications are. Nothing the character struggles with seems to be anything schizophrenics actually have problems with, his illness is just a plot device, an obstacle to overcome so he can have a girlfriend and be a chef. Despite the character repeating he will never overcome this, spoiler alert, he does, he cures it with bravery and what i can only describe as "high school love". The lesson was "Just be brave, take your pills and find a girlfriend." Ok sure, i understand that Thor wanted to make a teen romance movie as some kind of growing process in his usual work, so if i ignore all the terrible depictions and assumptions about his illness, maybe it's an ok movie. Nope it isn't, it's terrible. The main character is highly unlikable, so is his love interest, their personalities go beyond broody teenagers and enters into unreasonable and unpleasant, which seems out of place since most of the conversations are reasonable and arguments have nearly instant resolutions. This movie would have been an ok feel good mediocre story- if it didn't name schizophrenia specifically and proceed to handle it in an unrealistic and, quite frankly, harmful way, there are too many examples to list here. BUT Among them are; Medication working instantly as if in the Matrix (seriously imagined this way), Assumptions and extreme privilege in regards to healthcare and medication, Conveniently placed homeless people to provide context, Delusions being fully independent and interesting characters (more so than the REAL characters) , said characters being helpful as if they were just magical companions like E.T. and so on. The illness is romanticized and from other reviews seems to have inspired so many people to want to understand and help, and by helping they condone this garbage. Where was all the empathy and praise for this kind of thing when i was a teenager? I have found out that no one making this movie consulted anyone with the disorder at all, and it shows. This movie was offensively inaccurate and terrible, and if you ignore inaccuracies for the sake of "movie time", it's still bad. I hear the book is better, well i hope so, maybe people (including me) can look into that instead of this disaster. On a lighter note; Molly Parker, Andy Garcia, Walton Goggins and Annasophia Robb give great performances, most of the acting is well done, and the script would have been fine without the main plot, it moves in a formulaic way that makes sense and characters have depth albeit that they are terrible people.