Side Effects

I was wondering why the trailers for this film were so vague, and now I know that it's because it starts out as one kind of movie and slowly morphs into another kind. Mind you, it does so much more successfully than that movie whose title I can never remember, but I'm sure it still makes previews a little difficult to put together.

Either Jude Law has mellowed or I have, because I like him as Watson and I liked him here, too, at least once I adjusted to the idea that he was the main character. Like I said, confusing previews. Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) is right up there with him, but he's the protagonist, all right, as overworked psychiatrist Jonathan Banks. He's on call when the aforementioned Rooney Mara, playing Emily Taylor, deliberately runs her car into a brick wall and ends up in the hospital. She's been depressed before, but she rebels against being admitted because she has to work. Her husband Martin (Channing Tatum of The Eagle) is fresh out of jail and doesn't have a job yet. He was in prison for four years of their five-year marriage, in fact, because of insider trading, I think it was -- some sort of large-scale financial thing, anyway -- and it probably is a little difficult to get back into that field after a prison term, so they're struggling.

I knew there were a lot of anti-depressant / anti-anxiety medications out there, but I never thought I'd have to try to write down so many of them in the dark. Dr. Banks tries giving her Zoloft, for example, but she can't stand it because it makes her so sick. I think she tries Celexa, too, but I must admit I got a little mixed up. It might have been Prozac. The point is, eventually she ends up taking something called Ablixa.

That's made up, of course, but there's still a website out there for it if you're curious. Emily's last psychiatrist, Victoria Siebert (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, soon to be in Red 2) says that she would have prescribed it then, had it been around, and Dr. Banks agrees to try it, and Emily likes it even though it makes her sleepwalk. Actually, she sleep-cooks, too, making an entire breakfast in the middle of the night. But otherwise, she thinks it's really helping, and overrides Martin's wish to try something else. It probably is disturbing to find someone sleepwalking around.

Obviously things can't really get better or we wouldn't have a movie, but it's at this point that everything changes around, and I can't say much more about the plot without giving away all the fun stuff. I can tell you that one scene made everyone in the theatre gasp aloud, and that doesn't happen often. It's kind of depressing, even aside from the fact that it deals so much with depression -- at one point, Dr. Banks says that while in England, taking psychiatric meds makes people think of you as sick, he's practicing in the U.S. because here, taking psychiatric meds makes people think you're getting better. Which is a nice thought, but I'm not so sure about that. It doesn't seem like your average major pharmaceutical company would be making all those billions of dollars every year if the stuff they make was actually making people well... but then I'm a movie critic, not a doctor.

It's a good movie, though, edgy and with a nice slow build of tension and confusion as you become increasingly less sure of what to believe. I'm a sucker for movies like that. Therefore, it gets three and three-quarters out of five. As the tagline says, one pill can change your life, all right, but the problem is it can change a lot of other people's lives, too.

Martin is arrested. Must be awkward, having the FBI crash your anniversary.


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This movie is a twisted

This movie is a twisted version of "Final Anaylsis" - 1992, with Richard Gere and Kim Basinger. The plot is very simular. In the Final Analysis Kim Basinger is potrayed as a women who can not have acohol of any kind, not even cough syrp. Kim ends up drinking the cough syrp and killing her mobster husband. Richard Gere is the Psychiatrist who defends her. This movie was very simular so I couldn't enjoy it as much. A good move all and all but if you like this movie you will love Final Analysis 1992.

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