While at Blockbuster the other day, my eye, invariably trained for movies about the human condition, fell upon the newest Kevin Spacey movie, Shrink.
I hadn't actually heard of the movie (since I'm stuck under a cable-less rock at the moment) but I am so glad that I picked it up.
It's actually very fitting with my post on private school cliques, and how they determined success, both in high school and after.
I was always in wondrous amazement at how the most popular, most successful girls at my school were the hardest partiers, the most precautions drinkers, the smokers, the snorters, the ne'er do good-ers. This movie really reinforced my thoughts that the (easiest/most traveled) road to fame and fortune really is lined with booze and narcotics. Unlike many other films that have glorified this type of life, Shrink does a phenomenal job of showing the limelight in a much darker sense.
Kevin Spacey is an L.A. psychiatrist, far from the picture of health. His pull towards a half-baked life is fueled by questions that he doesn't know how to face. He does in fact help troubled people find peace, but in the process his most dangerously troubled (and REAL) patient shows him the way back from the deluded lifestyle of his Hollywoodite patients. He learns with his patients (in particular this hard up young girl who is faced with the same type of disquieting grief as he is) and this sort of 'parallel' learning allows him to become more in tune with his work and with his short-comings.
In an intricately woven web of seemingly unconnected characters, this movie portrays the darker side of the glamour that embodies the essence of Hollywood. But despite it's somber nature the movie left me with a feeling of hope for us "normal people".
If only more of our world's youth could realize the huge pitfalls in idolizing and imitating the famous. This movie does a good job of showing what's behind the Hollywood facade - and honestly, it's not so plastic-surgery-perfect.
Behind the botox faces and implanted bosoms are some seriously sad & fucked up people - just like the rest of us.