(2001) dir. Erik Skjoldbjærg
This movie is bad.
Years ago, in an undergraduate screenwriting class, I noted that one of the most lame ideas is writing a story about a person’s first year in college. It’s often a revelatory time for people, but it’s often generic, despite seeming otherwise, and is deluded with narcissism, as frequently young people are when first released on their own recognizance from the homes of their families and into the world of “college”.
Elizabeth Wurtzel’s version of her first year in college are definitely a little more extreme, peppered with her Rolling Stone-published writing to her incredibly unlikeable selfishness. But ultimately it’s nothing more than a coming-of-age story featuring a lot of blame on her parents and ultimately mixed resolution at the hands of therapy and pharmaceuticals. But some of it is just plain commonplace. Getting laid, getting drunk/stoned, falling in love…who DIDN’T do that their first year in college?
The big question is whether Wurtzel is mentally ill or just a self-centered sociopath. Is that her personality or is that only because she is sick? I guess that the film attempts to ask this question toward the end as she feels her identity changing under the influence of Prozac and though she is a nicer person, she isn’t sure she likes not feeling “herself”.
I don’t know if this source material could have been shaped better. The movie is crap, unsophisticated direction and some intense emoting verge this into comedy territory. Are we supposed to like the protagonist?
Christina Ricci was briefly one of the more interesting young actresses with films like The Ice Storm (1997), Buffalo ’66 (1998), The Opposite of Sex (1998), and Pecker (1998). She was praised for her voluptuous figure, in opposition to the typically anorexic Hollywood actresses, but then ended up losing all her weight and looking very strange. This is not one of her better films.