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Almost Famous

Director Cameron Crowe extends his autobiographical homage to 70s rock —Risë Keller (DVD review...)

Patrick Fugit is Almost Famous

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After seeing this movie, I’m either going to have to get some Prozac of my own or become a raging alcoholic — either way, its going take more than throwing this horrendous DVD out the window to repair my now shattered soul.

Keep Out of Reach

Christina Ricci sitting on her bed, and for no reason, naked
Christina Ricci sitting on her bed, and for no reason, naked

Prozac Nation starts out with a bang! And when I say bang, I mean actress Christina Ricci sitting on her bed, and for no reason, naked. From there, things go straight to hell for us. Ricci plays Elizabeth Wurtzel, a Harvard student who is majoring in journalism and is apparently damn good at it. Her mother, played by Jessica Lange (who travels in and out of some bizarre accent), is pressuring her to make the best of it there at the prestigious school. And she does, winning a Rolling Stone magazine prize for best student reporting.

But things aren’t perfect for our heroine. She’s turned herself into an avid drug abuser not to mention the town hooker. Elizabeth becomes so paralyzed by depression that she can’t write and has to temporarily move back in with her annoying mother. She goes on Prozac, and living with that crazy hell-hound, I don’t blame her. Elizabeth soon finds a new love, Rafe, played by Jason Biggs (American Pie), and I gotta say, he was better off with that pie. We watch how she reacts on the medicine before she begins to write a book about her experience.

Crying At You, Not With You

The film is based on Elizabeth Wurtzel’s book, which I haven’t read, and now wouldn’t read for all of the antidepressants in the world.

This is a terrible film. Period. There truly is nothing to like about it. The characters are unpleasant; the plot is hopelessly tedious; and the filmmaking is downright piss-poor. Unfortunately, there is so much more to hate about Prozac Nation, and the hate flows powerful and strong from me as I reflect upon it.

But if we’re going to go down that road — the road where we talk about how ridiculously idiotic this film is — then we’d better pack a lunch, because we’re going to be gone awhile. Check out Elizabeth’s Bruce Springsteen “Tunnel of Love” album poster hanging on her wall in 1985. Guess what? The album was not released until 1987. Remember the awful Space Shuttle disaster in January, 1986? Elizabeth is watching the Shuttle explosion on TV while on her Prozac. Too bad Prozac wasn’t available until late 1987.


Either director Eric Skjoldbjærg (Insomnia) is retarded, or he thinks we are.

Speaking of the Shuttle explosion and sickening filmmaking, Skjoldbjærg inappropriately intercuts the 1986 Challenger calamity footage with the mugging of Elizabeth’s mother, a filmmaking technique used to equate both as tragedies of the highest order. And I’m not even going to go into his method of showing Elizabeth’s first reaction to the antidepressant. Skjoldbjærg’s student-filmmaking way of handling the dramatic scenes are completely unthoughtful and weak at best. Let’s all share a brief moment of silence for the poor bastard; I think after the film has sunk into this “Prozac” nation, his career is going to be deader than Valium.

DVD Extras

The only thing that this DVD has to offer is the Anatomy of a Scene feature, where you watch the actors and filmmakers discuss a scene from the film. Watching a bad scene from a bad movie and hearing a lecture on it by bad filmmakers really isn’t my cup of tea. I wouldn’t recommend viewing it unless you are teaching students at a film school about how not to make a film.

Picture and Sound

Nothing fantastic or poor, the picture is clear and the sound is fine, although I wish both didn’t exist.