Prozac Nation (film)
|Directed by||Erik Skjoldbjærg|
|Produced by||R. Paul Miller et al.|
|Written by||Galt Niederhoffer (adaptation)|
Elizabeth Wurtzel (book)
Frank Deasy (screenplay)
Larry Gross (screenplay)
|Music by||Nathan Larson|
|Edited by||James Lyons|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
Prozac Nation is a 2001 American drama film directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg, starring Christina Ricci, Jason Biggs and Anne Heche. It is based on an autobiography of the same name by Elizabeth Wurtzel, which describes Wurtzel's experiences with atypical depression. The title is a reference to Prozac, the brand name of an antidepressant she was prescribed.
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Wurtzel is a 19-year-old accepted into Harvard with a scholarship in journalism. She has been raised by her divorced mother since she was two years old and hasn't seen her father at all in the last four years. Despite his lack of interest and involvement, Lizzie still misses her father, a contributing factor to her depression. Through a series of flashbacks, it is clear that there was a total communication breakdown between Lizzie's parents, which is soon reflected in Lizzie's own relationship with her mother.
Soon after arriving at Harvard, Lizzie decides to lose her virginity to an older student, Noah. Lizzie proceeds to alienate Noah by throwing a loss-of-virginity party immediately afterwards with the help of her roommate Ruby. Although best friends in the beginning, Ruby soon becomes another casualty of Lizzie's instability. Although Lizzie's article for the local music column in The Harvard Crimson is presented an award by Rolling Stone early into the semester, Lizzie soon finds herself unable to write, stuck in a vicious cycle with substance abuse.
Lizzie's promising literary career is at risk, as is her mental and physical health. Her mother sends her to expensive psychiatric sessions towards which her father, pleading poverty, implacably refuses to contribute anything at all. After a long period of treatment under medication and a suicidal gesture, Lizzie stabilizes and begins to adjust to her life as it really is.
- Christina Ricci as Elizabeth Wurtzel
- Jason Biggs as Rafe
- Anne Heche as Dr. Sterling
- Michelle Williams as Ruby
- Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Noah
- Jessica Lange as Mrs. Sarah Wurtzel
- Jesse Moss as Sam
- Nicholas Campbell as Donald, Elizabeth's father
- Lou Reed as himself
- Zoe Miller as the young Elizabeth Wurtzel
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2001; distribution rights were acquired by Miramax Films with the intent of giving the film a wider theatrical release. Months of subsequent test screenings and re-edits of the film never led to a broad commercial release. The film was released in Norway, Skjoldbjærg's native country, in August 2003, but it never had a national release in the U.S. market. It premiered on the Starz! channel in March 2005, and was released on DVD that following summer.
|“||It's a truthful depiction of depression. And I think the reason Miramax has struggled is the fact that it doesn't have a traditional dramatic structure, in terms of a clear, unqualified ending. Look at the book: Elizabeth is very clear that Prozac has helped her, but you're left with a dilemma, because perhaps she no longer knows who she is. We didn't want to come down heavily on one side or the other. People who've experienced depression like that aspect of the film, but a lot of people don't like it. Miramax certainly don't seem to like it.||”|
What follows is a list of the songs that were played according to the end credits.
- "The Promise" – Bruce Springsteen
- "Mystery Achievement" – The Pretenders
- "I Will Dare" – The Replacements
- "Perfect Day" – Lou Reed
- "Sweet Jane" – Lou Reed
- "Keep the Promise" – The Pontiac Brothers
- "Ivory Tower" – The Long Ryders
- "Who Is Who" – Adolescents
- "The Real West" – Thin White Rope
- "Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse" – Propaganda
- Vinciguerra, Thomas (9 November 2003). "For Author of 'Prozac Nation,' Delayed Film Is a Downer". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- Wurtzel, Elizabeth (1994). Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America. New York: Penguin Books. pp. 298. "The McLean people have recommended fluoxetine because they have diagnosed me with atypical depression.".
- Harris, John (18 July 2004). "Release me". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- Prozac Nation