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File:Girlinterrupted 1671.jpg


 Dr. Crumble: "Susanna, four days ago you chased a bottle of aspirin with a bottle of vodka."

Susanna: "I had a headache."


American film released in 1999, starring Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Whoopi Goldberg and Brittany Murphy. Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her stay in a mental institution in the late 1960's.

Shortly after her high school graduation and a subsequent suicide attempt (probably), upper middle class Susanna (Ryder) is admitted to Claymoore Psychiatric Hospital, where she meets and in some cases befriends other young, female patients, most notably Lisa (Jolie), the charismatic ring leader. The group rebels against the oppression of institutionalized life, going bowling in the basement at night and breaking into the doctor's office to read their case files. Susanna is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, Lisa is a sociopath, Georgina a compulsive liar and the saccharine Polly is a disturbed burn victim. Other patients count an anorexic called Janet, a Butch Lesbian called Cynthia - homosexuality still being regarded as a mental disorder at the time - and the hostile Daisy, who's dealing with an eating disturbance of her very own and is somewhat at odds with Lisa.

After some rule breaking and conflicts with the staff that leads to Lisa being taken away for electroshock treatment, she and Susanna escape one night. It ends up being a rather short trip during which Susanna becomes disenchanted with Lisa and voluntarily returns to Claymoore. Lisa is later returned too, less voluntarily and in a pretty bad state. Susanna, in the meantime, has recovered and is preparing to leave the institution, which leads to a final showdown between her and Lisa.

Jolie won quite a few awards for her supporting role, among them a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

Tropes evident in Girl, Interrupted include:


 Dr. Potts: You've been feeling bad in general. You've been feeling depressed?

Susanna: Well, I haven't exactly been a ball of joy, Melvin.

  • Double Standard: Not the film, but the morality of the time. Susanna's promiscuity is considered pathological and she asks if the reaction would have been the same, had she been male.
  • Draft Dodging: After being drafted, Susanna's boyfriend tries to get her to run away with him to Canada.
  • Driven to Suicide: Susanna attempting it (despite her denying claims) is what got her committed to the institution. A former patient called Jamie (and former resident of Susanna's room) hung herself, as does Daisy later in the film.
  • Erotic Eating: The "nuts" scene in the ice cream parlor.
  • Fingore: Susanna accidentally slams her fingers in a heavy sliding door towards the end of the film.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Lisa's specialty.
  • Hollywood New England: Claymoore is in suburban Boston.
  • Hollywood Tone Deaf: Averted. Susanna and Lisa's rendition of "Downtown" is realistically off-key, and is one of the film's more heartwarming moments.
  • How We Got Here
  • Kick the Dog: Lisa's speech to Daisy, which proves to be the latter's breaking point.
  • Lack of Empathy: Lisa. To best illustrate, her reaction to discovering a freshly-hanged corpse is to scoff "Aw, what an idiot" and loot its pockets.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Claymoore Hospital for McLean Hospital. Does not apply in the book (and seeing as it's a memoir, it doesn't have to).
  • Never Trust a Trailer: There is great exchange in the trailer that never made it into the finished film:

 Dr. Wick: Is there something about sex which lifts your feelings of despair?

Susanna: Have you ever had sex?