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Christina Ricci stars as Lizzie, a prize-winning student heading off to Harvard where she intends to study journalism and launch a career as a rock music critic. However, Elizabeth's fractured family situation including an errant father (Nicholas Campbell) and a neurotic, bitterly hypercritical mother (Jessica Lange) has led to a struggle with depression. When her all-night, drug-fueled writing binges and emotional instability alienate her roommate and best friend, Ruby (Michelle Williams), as well as both her first (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) and second (Jason Biggs) boyfriends, Lizzie seeks psychiatric counseling from Dr. Diana Sterling (Anne Heche), who prescribes the wonder drug Prozac. Despite success as a writer that includes a gig writing for Rolling Stone and some mellowing out thanks to her medication, Lizzie begins to feel that the pills are running her life and faces some tough choices about her future.
In an interview just before the film was finally released, Christina Ricci, who was 20 at the time, admitted that doing her first nude scene ever in ProzacNation was frightening. She said during production that director Erik Skjoldbjaerg decided that a nude scene would show the character's complete emotional "nakedness," even though nudity wasn't in the script or even discussed before production began. Ricci agreed but requested a closed set and then she called her co-star Michelle Williams to come watch the monitor and let her know that everything looked okay. Ricci went on to perform nude scenes in several of her later films. See more »
When Elizabeth is clearing the table near the end of the film, she clears away the plates of her mother and grandmother twice. See more »
Look, we all have bad days.
This is what people say in situations when they don't know what else to say. Fuck, I don't know what to suggest either.
I care about you, Lizzie.
What I want is for someone to understand. But they don't really. And that makes the platitudes harder to bear.
See more »
During the opening credits, the close-up shots of the letters Elizabeth is typing form the sentence, "I hate myself and I want to die." See more »
Written by Barry Shank
Performed by The Long Ryders
Courtesy of Frontier Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group See more »
A misunderstood movie about a misunderstood disease
"ProzacNation" is a case study of clinical depression with Ricci as a Harvard frosh trying to cope with her own identity crisis, poor self esteem, and uncontrollable mood swings; the expectations of an over-compensating divorced mother; the absenteeism of a shallow father; and the sincerity of a love she can't believe is real. The film does a good job of accurately representing the destructive influences of the disease of depression in spite murky flashbacks, a hazy narration by Ricci, and a melodramatic and contrived feel. A showcase for Ricci, who meets the demands of her role, this film's lukewarm reception may have more to do with the lack of understanding of the Jekyll-Hyde nature of the depressed person than a poor presentation of the character. (B)
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