I love coming across a good movie by accident. That’s exactly how I ended up watching the film Prozac Nation. I was flipping through the channels and I landed on this gem as it was just about to start. The title alone caught my attention since I am fascinated by society’s obsession with medication. I’m weary of medications myself, but others seem to pop a pill for anything and everything.
The film chronicles a depressed teenage girl named Lizzie (played by Christina Ricci), her spiral out of control, and her rise back to the top. Lizzie gets into Harvard on a scholarship for her talent as a writer. Her childhood wasn’t exactly ideal as her parents got divorced when she was young, but she seems to have moved past that. Lizzie flourishes at Harvard at first. She becomes super close with her roommate Ruby, gets a boyfriend, and one of her music articles gets awarded by Rolling Stone. Everything seems great. Then Lizzie’s depression comes back. She can’t seem to write anymore. She gives her roommate’s boyfriend an “accidental blowjob” (haha), causing their friendship to fall apart. Lizzie starts to fight with her mother again and engages in reckless behaviors with sex and drugs. In essence, Lizzie turns into a mess of a person.
Concerned, Lizzie’s mother sends her to a psychiatrist, Dr. Sterling (Anne Heche). Lizzie resists treatment at first and gets a lot worse before she gets better. By the end of the movie, she seems to be back on the right track due to the antidepressant Prozac.
I enjoyed this movie. I thought Christina Ricci accurately portrayed the struggles associated with depression: pushing people away, quitting things you enjoy doing, and self-destructing. I could feel her pain, but at the same time, I wouldn’t want to be her friend. No one hangs around a depressed person for too long. It’s depressing and exhausting! Christina is one of my favorite actresses. She always ends up in weird roles, but they suit her. Who didn’t love her as Wednesday Addams or Penelope?
The film was based off of a book by the same name. I haven’t read it, but it is an autobiography written by Elizabeth Wurtzel. She is very successful and still writes, so there’s proof that depression only runs your life and keeps you down if you let it.
I read some reviews on this film and I was a little surprised. A lot of people complained that the movie was terrible because Lizzie was annoying and unbearable. Yes, depressed people suck to be around. But, this is a movie about depression. A depressed person isn’t going to be friendly or the life of the party. Go watch a comedy if you want a laugh. I think this movie might have been too real for some critics. Depression is hard to look at, I suppose. I guess that’s why people suffer in silence.
I’m glad I gave Prozac Nation a chance. It’s not all doom and gloom. There are many funny moments throughout to keep you entertained. And if that doesn’t entice you, just watch the first 5 minutes. You may just see something you like. 😉