Craig is a high-school junior, in the gifted program, infatuated with his best friend's girl. When he realizes he's suicidal, he checks himself into the psychiatric ward of a hospital, thinking they'll do an observation, help him, and send him home in time for school the next day. Once in, however, he must stay for a week; the juvenile ward is being renovated, so he's in with adults as well as a few youths. Bobby, a man with a young daughter, shows him around; Craig notices Noelle, about his age. He tries to keep his friends from finding out where he is. Little things: he draws, goes to therapy, sings, helps Bobby rehearse an interview. Is this the stuff of insight?Written by
The film is an adaptation of Ned Vizzini's 2006 novel of the same name. The book was inspired by Vizzini's own brief hospitalization for depression in November 2004. In 2013, Vizzini committed suicide at the age of 32 by jumping off the roof of the building where his parents lived in Brooklyn. See more »
Some of the psychiatric patients in the hospital are wearing sweatshirts with drawstrings. Mental health facilities would not allow patients to have these. The staff took away Craig's belt and shoelaces, so they likely would not have allowed drawstrings in the hospital. See more »
Time felt different back then. Like there was more of it.
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Kind of nice that Hollywood can still offer a non-commercial, very moving film like this one
Craig (Keir Gilchrist) is depressed. Although his parents (Lauren Graham and Jim Gaffigan) are nice, they are a mildly over-achieving duo who try to gently push their teenage son in a certain direction. This means going to a competitive high school and following a specific curriculum. But, even though Craig is quite intelligent, his stress level is very high and he dreams of "jumping off a bridge". One morning, before sunrise, he sneaks out of the house to contemplate his own suicide but ends up going to a hospital emergency room. The teen insists they admit him. They do. However, the adolescent ward is undergoing renovations and doesn't have room for Craig. Instead, he is placed in the adult psych ward, with a nearly catatonic roommate, Muqtada (Bernard White). In short order, Craig wants to go home but his new shrink, Dr. Eden (Viola Davis) says that is impossible, he must remain for five days. Fortunately, he soon makes friends with an affable patient named Bobby (Zach Galifianakis) and casts his eye on a lovely young female Noelle (Emma Roberts), who bears telltale scars on her wrists. These three strike up a friendship, with Bobby schooling Craig on how to "dress up like an employee" and leave the ward, at least temporarily! It is quickly evident, however, that Bobby has some dark secrets, as does Noelle, and Muqtada seems to be going nowhere fast. Can Craig get the help he needs, even as he helps others? This is a lovely film which highlights the topic of mental illness in a sensitive, intelligent way. Yes, there are patients with more severe troubles than others but all remain part of the human race, as shown here. The cast is great, with Gilchrist doing a fantastic job as the film's main character. Galifianakis, Roberts, Davis, and especially White, do great work too, as do all of the lesser actors. The setting is fairly limited, as most of the action takes place in the hospital, and the costumes are suitably drab, although Roberts looks very pretty in whatever she wears. Then, too, the script is comically insightful while the direction and camera work are quite nice. All in all, if you are hoping to watch a great film that touches the heart, with depth, view this one kind of soon.
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