Movies (series) with characters suffering from social anxietyby AlenaLena | created - 05 Oct 2013 | updated - 07 Jun 2015 | Public
I have social anxiety myself. Please keep in mind it's not explicitly mentioned that these characters actually suffer from social anxiety and/or similar conditions, I'm only sure for first 15 movies. I can relate to all of them, I'm sure all people with SA also can.
If you know some more, please let me know, I'd like to see them all.
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1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.
Votes: 915,379 | Gross: $34.40M
Character: Joel Barish (one of my favorite movie characters ever)
Writer Charlie Kaufman brings us this tale of a man who -- upon discovering that his ex-girlfriend has undergone a procedure to erase all memories of him from her mind -- decides to do the same. During the process, however, Joel (Jim Carrey) discovers that he isn't ready to let go of Clementine (Kate Winslet). The anxious aspects of Joel's personality, including his inability to speak with strangers and his near hermit-like lifestyle are emphasized in contrast with the extroverted Clementine.
2. Nerve (2011)
83 min | Comedy, Drama
When Josh agrees to be the subject of an experiment pertaining to the treatment of social anxiety, he hopes it will end his troubles - and get him closer to its pretty conductor, Aurora. Little does he know, it'll be the battle of his life.
If you suffer from SA, this will be your favorite movie, believe me. :)
3. Adaptation. (2002)
R | 115 min | Comedy, Drama
A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt 'The Orchid Thief' by Susan Orlean for the screen.
Votes: 179,166 | Gross: $22.25M
Character: Charlie Kaufman
This movie is about a screenplay writer played by Nicholas Cage. He is a very accomplished writer, yet has horrible social anxiety and terrible self esteem. He has a twin brother who also wants to be a writer, but doesn't have the talent. What he has is unshakeable confidence.
Actually, most of the Charlie Kaufman movies are dealing with SA (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Synecdoche- New York, Being John Malkovich)
4. Bubble (I) (2005)
R | 73 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Set against the backdrop of a decaying Midwestern town, a murder becomes the focal point of three people who work in a doll factory.
Votes: 7,744 | Gross: $0.15M
One of the main characters has social anxiety and talks about it a little bit. In the special features, the actor talks about his real life SA.
5. Waiting... (I) (2005)
R | 94 min | Comedy
Young employees at Shenaniganz restaurant collectively stave off boredom and adulthood with their antics.
Votes: 90,366 | Gross: $16.12M
This cult classic among the restaurant crowd takes place over the course of a day at "Shenaniganz", a cookie-cutter establishment filled with anything but average staff. Calvin (Rob Benedict) is a server at the restaurant plagued by constant self-doubt and awkward social behavior -- the main defining aspect of his character being his inability to urinate in a public restroom.
6. Ali'nin sekiz günü (2009)
107 min | Drama
Ali is a young man whose life passes as a routine between his house and the little shop he owns. But everything changes when she meets Zeynep, a girl who's recently moved to the ... See full summary »
7. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
PG | 96 min | Comedy
A listless and alienated teenager decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he must deal with his bizarre family life back home.
Votes: 198,591 | Gross: $44.54M
Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) steals the show in this film about teenage awkwardness, apathy and angst. However, Deb (Tina Majorino) brings to the screen a social awkwardness different from that of the lead role. While Napoleon is awkward and indifferent, Deb is aware of how others perceive her and it shows in her self-conscious behavior. This is never more evident than in their first meeting when Deb nervously tries her hand at door-to-door selling.
8. The King's Speech (2010)
R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History
The story of King George VI, his impromptu ascension to the throne of the British Empire in 1936, and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch overcome his stammer.
Votes: 641,624 | Gross: $138.80M
9. Elling (2001)
R | 89 min | Comedy, Drama
When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and... See full summary »
Votes: 14,071 | Gross: $0.31M
10. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A frustrated Barry Egan calls a phone-sex line to curb his loneliness. Little does he know that he will land in huge trouble and will also jeopardise his relationship with Lena.
Votes: 148,419 | Gross: $17.84M
Character: Barry Eagen
Adam Sandler stars as Barry Eagen, a hen-pecked entrepreneur with seven sisters, intent on exploiting a loophole in a pudding promotion to cash in on free flights. Although prone to fits of rage, Eagen may be the character who most resembles a social phobic, with his odd self-conscious mannerisms and private self-loathing. Subplots include a love interest (Emily Watson) and a soured relationship with a phone-sex operator.
I personally can relate to him a lot.
11. Now, Voyager (1942)
Passed | 117 min | Drama, Romance
A frumpy spinster blossoms under therapy and becomes an elegant, independent woman.
Character: Charlotte Vale
In this 40s classic, nervous and repressed as a result of a domineering mother, Charlotte Vale is transformed into a confident and beautiful woman by a kind psychiatrist (Claude Rains). With a fresh perspective, Charlotte embarks on a cruise where she meets Jerry (Paul Henreid), an architect trapped in an unhappy marriage with a troubled daughter. Although the relationship is ill-fated, Charlotte takes solace in being able to help the daughter as she has been helped herself. Known for the line -- "Don't ask for the moon--we have the stars."
12. Clockwatchers (1997)
PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Drama
The relationship between four female temps all working for the same credit company is threatened with the arrival of a new hire, who lands a permanent position one of the women was vying for.
Votes: 4,534 | Gross: $0.44M
Character: Iris Chapman
Clockwatchers follows the lives of four office temps who become fast friends in a boring-turned-hostile office environment. This film pokes fun at the 9 to 5 work-a-day world, but it does so in the style of a black comedy. Although an ensemble cast, Iris (Toni Collette) quickly becomes identified as the lead role, which is unusual given that she is the most shy of the group, waiting timidly for two hours to be noticed on her first day of work.
13. Amélie (2001)
R | 122 min | Comedy, Romance
Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.
Votes: 706,134 | Gross: $33.23M
Character: Amelie Poulain
Amelie is the story of a woman who, despite her own shyness and inability to connect with others, embarks on a voyage to bring happiness into the lives of others through arms-length manipulations. This film brings into question the impact of an isolated and sheltered childhood on later social anixety. Although capable of bringing happiness to others, Amelie struggles with her own loneliness and inability to find love. It is only with the help of an eccentric neighbor that a relationship eventually develops with an attractive stranger.
14. Harold and Maude (1971)
PG | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral.
15. The Net (I) (1995)
PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A computer programmer stumbles upon a conspiracy, putting her life and the lives of those around her in great danger.
Votes: 60,973 | Gross: $50.73M
Character: Angela Bennet
Sandra Bullock stars as Angela Bennett, a hermit-like computer programmer in Southern California who works out of her home and "lives" on the internet. With the exception of her ex-therapist/ex-lover (Dennis Miller) and her institutionalized mother, she has no friends and no in-person social contact. When she stumbles upon a computer program capable of world-wide security breaches and becomes a target of international computer hackers, her solitary existence becomes a terrible handicap.
16. Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A delusional young man strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.
Votes: 138,608 | Gross: $5.97M
Lars & The Real Girl explores aspects of Social Anxiety Disorder and other mental illness in a meaningful way. It is a beautiful, sensitive and smart movie about the origins of mental illness and how to work them through.
17. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
R | 116 min | Comedy, Romance
Goaded by his buddies, a nerdy guy who's never "done the deed" only finds the pressure mounting when he meets a single mother.
Votes: 396,977 | Gross: $109.45M
It was more about a man struggling to get with women, which is an SA problem but then again, let us not forget that guy wasn't that shy (mild SA) considering his job was on a sales floor talking to people all day.
18. What About Bob? (1991)
PG | 99 min | Comedy
A successful psychotherapist loses his mind after one of his most dependent patients, an obsessive-compulsive neurotic, tracks him down during his family vacation.
Votes: 62,693 | Gross: $63.71M
Character: Bob 'Bobby' Wiley
Bob makes his therapist go crazy. :)
A classic comedy voted one of the funniest movies of all time, “What About Bob?” centers around a character with phobias and a host of anxiety disorders. These fears don’t seem to stop Bob from successfully socializing with nearly everyone in the movie, which is pretty disingenuous to the disorder, but since his character is so likeable he puts a positive face on a serious mental health issue.
19. Girl, Interrupted (1999)
R | 127 min | Biography, Drama
Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the late 1960s.
Votes: 165,247 | Gross: $28.87M
Character: Susanna Kaysen
Her social anxieties are not quite clear to me since they are not centre of the plot, but she often seeks to be alone; shows many social anxieties around people and had a lack of close friends on outside of the hospital. She suffers from various psychological conditionds: borderline personality disorder, spontaneous damaging behaviour, schizotypal personality disorder...
20. Roger Dodger (2002)
R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama
After breaking up with his lover and boss, a smooth-talking man takes his teenaged nephew out on the town in search of sex.
Votes: 16,887 | Gross: $1.27M
21. Snow Cake (2006)
Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Romance
A drama focused on the friendship between a high-functioning autistic woman and a man who is traumatized after a fatal car accident.
Votes: 12,270 | Gross: $0.03M
22. Copycat (1995)
R | 123 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
An agoraphobic psychologist and a female detective must work together to take down a serial killer who copies serial killers from the past.
Votes: 54,621 | Gross: $32.05M
Holly Hunter exhibits an issue that affects many women after they’ve been attacked by becoming agoraphobic – an issue that isn’t addressed much in today’s society, especially for victims of assault.
As usual with movie portrayals of mental health disorders, most of these movies involve a main character that manages to overcome anxiety on their own, with very little additional treatment – something unlikely for most people that suffer from anxiety related issues. Still, suspending belief is the norm for Hollywood, and the fact that these movies highlight issues with anxiety can only be a net benefit for those that are actually living through it.
23. Adam (I) (2009)
PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Adam, a lonely man with Asperger's Syndrome, develops a relationship with his upstairs neighbor, Beth.
Votes: 33,535 | Gross: $2.28M
He actually suffers from asperger syndrome, technically this and SA are different conditions but with similar anxious symptoms around others. I'm sure all the people with Sa can relate.
24. Speak (2004)
PG-13 | 89 min | Drama
After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak.
I havent actually seen this one yet, a friend recomended it to me.
26. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994)
TV-PG | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery
Set almost 100 years after Captain Kirk's five-year mission, a new generation of Starfleet officers set off in the U.S.S. Enterprise-D on their own mission to go where no one has gone before.
Character: Lieutenant Reginald Barclay
27. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
R | 133 min | Drama
A criminal pleads insanity and is admitted to a mental institution, where he rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.
Votes: 921,810 | Gross: $112.00M
He displays some symptoms of social anxiety.
28. Les émotifs anonymes (2010)
PG-13 | 80 min | Comedy, Romance
What happens when a man and a woman share a common passion? They fall in love. And this is what happens to Jean-René, the boss of a small chocolate factory, and Angélique, a gifted ... See full summary »
SA seems to be the focal point. Hasn't received the most flattering reviews, but worth checking out.
29. Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)
R | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, Music
A confined but troubled rock star descends into madness in the midst of his physical and social isolation from everyone.
Votes: 76,307 | Gross: $22.24M
30. Ordinary People (1980)
R | 124 min | Drama
The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.
Votes: 47,324 | Gross: $54.80M
31. Stanley & Iris (1990)
PG-13 | 104 min | Drama, Romance
A struggling widow falls in love with an illiterate short-order cook whom she teaches to read and write in her kitchen each night.
Votes: 7,140 | Gross: $5.82M
32. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama
After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.
Votes: 852,899 | Gross: $170.74M
33. Dead Poets Society (1989)
PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama
Maverick teacher John Keating uses poetry to embolden his boarding school students to new heights of self-expression.
Votes: 428,272 | Gross: $95.86M
I'm not sure, but I think Todd has some SA/self-esteem issues. I just wanted to give him a hug when he was forced to read his poem in front of the class. He's terrified of speaking in class or even joining groups for school papers.
34. Buffalo '66 (1998)
R | 110 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
After being released from prison, Billy is set to visit his parents with his wife, whom he does not actually have. This provokes Billy to act out, as he kidnaps a girl and forces her to act as his wife for the visit.
Votes: 48,078 | Gross: $2.38M
Character: Billy Brown
Vincen Gallo's character is one really messed up guy. I'm not sure if he suffers from SA, but I can totally relate to his social awkwardness.
35. Mary and Max (2009)
Not Rated | 92 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama
A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York.
About two penpals. Max is an overeating New Yorker with Asperger's while Mary is an Aussie girl who seems to have a problem with SA and an alcoholic mother.
36. He Was a Quiet Man (2007)
Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
A disenfranchised office worker becomes a hero after saving a girl's life.
Bob Maconel (Christian Slater) endures another eight hours in a dull grey cubicle. Ignored by his co-workers, Bob feels completely invisible and out of sync with the world. On one strange day he crosses the line from potential killer to inadvertent hero when he saves beautiful Venessa (Elisha Cuthbert). They never mention he has SA, but he's very awkward socially.
37. As Good as It Gets (1997)
PG-13 | 139 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A single mother and waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship after the artist is assaulted in a robbery.
Votes: 276,704 | Gross: $148.48M
38. Breakout Kings (2011–2012)
TV-14 | 43 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A squad of U.S. marshals team up with cons (former fugitives) to work together on tracking down prison escapees in exchange for getting time off their sentences.
Julianne Sims from Breakout Kings is portrayed as having a serious social anxiety disorder and panic attacks which prevented her from working in law enforcement until she was recruited for the team.
39. Analyze This (1999)
R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime
A comedy about a psychiatrist whose number one patient is an insecure mob boss.
Votes: 146,099 | Gross: $106.89M
One of the few films that addresses the effects of generalized anxiety disorder, Analyze This is a comedy that does a surprisingly good job (albeit with humor) showing how living with anxiety can affect decision making, social interactions, and more.
40. Spaced (1999–2001)
TV-14 | 25 min | Action, Comedy
Friends Tim and Daisy, 20-something North Londoners with uncertain futures, must pretend to be a couple to live in the only apartment they can afford.
Very funny and kinda sad at the same time.
41. Dummy (2002)
R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
An ex-office worker becomes a ventriloquist, leading to a date with his unemployment counselor; but his quirky family and a gauche female friend may thwart his new career and love life.
Votes: 6,438 | Gross: $0.07M
I'm not sure if Brody's character Steven suffers from social anxiety, but he has some SA like traits.
42. Thomas est amoureux (2000)
R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
In the near future, a man confined to his apartment for eight years by agoraphobia and fear of human contact is prescribed remote sex therapy.
Votes: 1,919 | Gross: $0.04M
Film about a guy with agoraphobia in the near future. He uses technology to do all his communicating because of crippling panic attacks.
43. Rocky (1976)
PG | 120 min | Drama, Sport
A small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavyweight champion in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.
Votes: 520,697 | Gross: $117.24M
Adrian from the Rocky movies had social anxiety, especially noticeable in the first movie.
44. The Aviator (2004)
PG-13 | 170 min | Biography, Drama
A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.
Votes: 335,647 | Gross: $102.61M
An excellent film adaptation about the real life story of Howard Hughes. The Aviator’s character progressively deteriorates, something that would have been likely without any successful treatments, and showcases the beginning of what happened to one of the most prominent individuals in America.
45. In Plain Sight (2008–2012)
TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery