Rating : 7.5/10
This is a film that was commissioned and created by Netflix, and it premiered on July 14 to some mixed reviews. In my opinion, films that attempt to comment on, raise awareness, or do anything to an ‘illness’ of any kind, be in physical or mental, are always going to come under fire, warranted or not. Having read and watched a few interviews of Lily Collins whilst promoting this film, she discusses her own past with eating disorders, and openly discusses the controversy that some people were attempting to sling onto this piece because in some peoples opinions “people who’ve suffered from such things in the past shouldn’t get that skinny again, even if it’s for a role to promote awareness.” I full-heartedly agree with Collins, that when years have past and a different mind-frame exists, this shouldn’t be a concern.
Excuse the tangent, now back to the film. The cast in this i was quite interested in, as apart from the two big names Lily Collins and Keanu Reeves, the others were a few faces i recognized, but names i couldn’t recall . I had seen two of Collins fellow anorexia sufferers in the shows “Red Band Society” and “Good Country Belles”. And then of course, a “Parks and Recreations” veteran ‘Donna’. The variety of characters that surround Collins added a very realistic edge to the film, as there were very few stereotypes that shone out which one can appreciate.
Granted, a film with this subject matter is always going to raise eyebrows and people will have opinions before its even released, having seen a few movies take on this stigma, this one seems to tackle the issue with a different angle. Instead of the standard “eat eat eat” mantras pushed at ‘in-patients’. There’s some actual attempts at psychologically breaking down whats creating the need for the eating disorder. Not an incredibly philosophical film but there are a few borderline philosophical lines that resonate with you.
The protagonist (Collins) does portray the standard ‘all-knowing’ persona of someone who’s slightly delusional and petulant beliefs that she’s got things ‘under control’. When in reality she’s likely to not wake up one day. One thing i quite enjoyed about the film is that it explored the siblings role, that was something i hadn’t come across before, or if i had it was poorly scripted. In this we see a genuine friendship and sibling-hood, but alongside that the healthy sisters struggle and pain as she doesn’t get to have a real sister. Some hard-hitting tropes and delusions are challenged, whilst also balancing out with some genuine laughs throughout it.
It’s entertaining and does also open your eyes to the psychosis that is more often than not attached intrinsically to eating disorders. A little transformative and very much worth a watch.