> Volume 6 > Number 29


Erik Skjoldbjærg

Christina Ricci
Anne Heche
Michelle Williams
Jason Biggs
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

Release: TBA

Prozac Nation


Based on Elizabeth Wurtzel cautionary autobiography, Prozac Nation comes as an amazingly uncomfortable experience. It’s the type of film in which the audience must watch the protagonist hurt everyone around her. Characters are introduced only for Wurtzel (Ricci) to emotionally destroy them, and then move on to her next victim. More horror film than commentary, this attempt to educate people on the vicious power of Prozac and other mood-altering drugs, is a turgid experience, and one that fails to really relate its meaning because of the extremes it takes to makes its point.

Couple this story (I must admit I’ve never read the source material) with a surprisingly obtuse direction by Erik Skjoldbjærg and a collection of shrill, unforsaken performances, and Prozac Nation proves completely unbearable. Moreover, its proximity to Harvard Man, another film about sex, drugs, and the Charles River, with a female protagonist is a debilitating comparison. Though this could have overcome the miserable James Toback film by relating substance instead of empty viciousness, Prozac Nation just proves unforgivably painful to watch, not as much out of technical mistakes but in its overall tone. Though we are meant to feel there’s hope for Wurtzel -- the knowledge of her publishing success makes it inevitable -- the only anticipation felt by those unlucky enough to see this is that the movie will end with her finally getting her comeuppance for paining her friends, family, and those of us forced to sit through it all

©2004, David Perry,, 16 July 2004