Girl, Interrupted (1999) - full transcript

Unable to cope with reality and the difficulty that comes with it, 18 year old Susanna, is admitted to a mental institution in order to overcome her disorder. However, she has trouble understanding her disorder and therefore finds it difficult to tame, especially when she meets the suggestive and unpredictable Lisa.

Have you ever confused a dream
with life?

Or stolen something
when you have the cash?

Have you ever been blue?

Or thought your train moving
while sitting still?

Maybe I was just crazy.

Maybe it was the '60s.

Or maybe I was just a girl...


Put her in restraints.
Withdraw blood for tox.

- Hold on.
- Give her five milligrams of Valium.

- You got your end?
- Want to do a C.B.C.?

Turn her head
so she doesn't aspirate.

Aspirin fragments and vodka, I think.

Don't tell me what you think.
Take it to the lab.

You should check my hand.
There's no bones in it.

Looks like a wrist banger.

Is that why you did this?

And other things.

Her parents are on the way.

Sometimes it's hard...

for me to stay in one place.


if you had no bones
in your hand...

how did you pick up the aspirin?

What is my mother doing?

Would you answer my question,

How did you pick up the aspirin
if you had no bones in your hand?

By then, they had come back.

I see.

No, you don't.


indulge me, then.

Explain it to me.

Explain what?

Explain to a doctor
that the laws of physics...

can be suspended?

That what goes up
may not come down?


that time...

can move backwards and forwards...

and now to then
and back again...

and you can't control it?

Why can't you control it?


Why can't you control time?

Sam, shh!

Where were you?
Everyone is here. Come on.

- Mary, you remember Susanna.
- Yes, I do.

So this is what you're wearing?

I didn't know it was so early.
I would have changed.

Hey, everybody. Look who's here.

- Happy birthday, Dad.
- Thanks, sweetie.

I'm sorry.
I want to say hi to her.

Sweetie, would you
hold this for me?

I want to say hi to Susanna.

Excuse me. Susanna!

Professor Gilcrest's wife.

Hi. Barbara Gilcrest.
Do you remember me?

- I'm Bonnie's mom.
- Yeah.

Your skin is so beautiful.

Bonnie was in your Lit class,
wasn't she?

Yeah. How is she doing?

She just go accepted to Radcliffe.

What a conundrum.

I'm a Wellesley girl, myself,

I think young women should
make up their own mind, don't you?

Are you stoned?

Do you smoke pot?

Take LSD?

No drugs?

How do you feel right now?


don't know.

I don't know what I'm feeling.

You need a rest.

Well, I'll go home,
take a nap.

You need to go somewhere
where you can get a genuine rest.

And you're very lucky.

The best place in the world
for someone like you...

is less than a half an hour
from here.

You don't mean Claymoore.

Four days ago...

you chased a bottle of aspirin
with a bottle of vodka.

I had a headache.

Your father is a friend of mine.

He's a colleague.

He asked me to see you,
even though I don't do this anymore.

You're hurting
everyone around you.


Claymore is a topnotch place.

A lot of people go there.

Even writers.

Like you.

Yes, I'd like a cab
at 1240 Milford, please.

My mother's here.

It'll be less emotional
if we do it this way.

Your parents and I
have talked about it.

Now, make sure no stops.

Susanna, are you there?

Hey. I want to see you again.

- It was a one-time thing, okay?
- Just come to my office tonight.

Sweetie, where are you?
We're opening the presents.

Tell them you're going
to a friend's. Please.

Who do you want me to tell first?

My parents, the department chairman
or your wife?

What did you do?

Excuse me?

Well, you look normal.

I'm sad.

Well, everyone's sad.

I see things.

You mean like tripping?

Kind of.

Then they should put
John Lennon away, huh?

I'm notJohn Lennon.

Don't get too comfortable.

Shouldn't my parents...

You have to sign them,
Miss Kaysen.

You're over 18.
This is your decision.

I didn't try to kill myself.

That's the kind of thing you talk
about in therapy, honey. Not here.

You have the distinction of being
the only senior at Springbrook...

not going on to college.

May I ask what you plan to do?

I plan to write.

But what to you plan to do?

Look, I'm not going to burn my bra...

or drop acid
or go march on Washington.

I just don't want to end up
like my mother.

Women today
have more choices than that.

No, they don't.

And here.

You forgot one, dear. Here.

Speaking for Dr. Wick and myself...

welcome to Claymoore.

This is the women's ward,
also known as South Bell.

This is where you'll be staying,
and this is where I work.

All right, this is
the second floor.

I need you to stay close to me
because it's easy to get lost here.

This is our ward.

All right.
Let's start with this room.

This is the art room.

What are you doing in here?

I feel very musical today.
Can I just...

Not today, honey.

That's Polly. Come on.


- Polly was in the art room by herself.
- I'm sorry, Val.

All right.

Ah, the living room.

Everyone hates it.

And these are the phones.

You need to make a call,
pick up the handle...

tell the nurse,
she'll connect you.

This is the nurses' station,
which is self-explanatory.

And this is the TV room
where everyone hangs out.

I want my fucking clothes.

Then you'll have to eat something,
won't you?

This is where you check-in...

if you want walk on the grounds
or something.

Oh, lordy, pick a bale of hay

Gotta jump down, spin around
Pick a bale of cotton

Jump down, spin around
Pick a bale of hay

She thinks that bothers me.
Right now...

you're an " R," which means
you're restricted to the ward.

But in about a month, you'll
probably move up to two-to-ones...

which is two nurses
to every patient.

I'm not going to be here that long.
I'm just here for a rest.

It's all right. Everybody gets
the same tour free of charge.

Georgina, this is Susanna,
your new roommate.

- Oh, great. Hi.
- Hi.

Susanna, you're very lucky.
Georgina's an excellent roommate.

Why, thank you, Valerie.

You're welcome.

Susanna, will you excuse me? I have
some business I have to attend to.

Georgina, will you take Susanna
down to the dining room in a half hour?


Yes means yes, Georgina.

I know.

Groovy box.

- That.
- Oh.

Yeah, they're French.

The French Resistance
smoked them, I think.

You ever read this?

No. I saw the movie
a bunch of times, though.

The movie's actually
based on the first book.

I read that one too, but there
were no ruby slippers in it originally.

They added that.
This one takes place afterwards.

Dorothy doesn't really have
such a big part in this one.

Fucking pig.

Get off me!

Hey, Dais. Let anyone
in your room yet?

Hey, girls! Hey, sexy.

It's good to be home.

- Hey, Torch.
- Hey, Lisa.

- You miss me?
- Not much.

Get her to her room.
Gretta'll do the strip search.

- Who's that with Georgie-girl?
- Come on.

- Where's Jamie?
- I can't deal with this.

- Don't give me a hard time.
- Where's Jamie?

Where is she?

Let go!
Don't you fucking touch me!

Who are you?

Her name is Susanna.
She smokes French cigarettes.

Why is all your shit on her bed?

- Why? Where's Jamie?
- What are you talking about?

What the hell are you doing, Lisa?

Back off her. Back off.
You've been gone for two weeks.

A lot of shit has gone down.
Back off.

How'd she do it?

Get the fuck off me!

You weak people. You're all weak
fucking people! You're victims!

You people are fucking sick!

What? No, Val, please. Please!

Get her legs!


- Fuck, no!
- Get her feet!

- I got her!
- Get off! No, no!


We have got to
cut those nails again.

My God.
What the hell was that?

That was Lisa.

And Jamie was your roommate?

Jamie was Lisa's best friend.

She was sad last week
'cause Lisa ran away...

so she hung herself
with a volleyball net.


Oh! Oh, I'm sorry.


Cynthia Crowley.

Susanna Kaysen.

I am Mrs. McWilley,
and these are for you.

- What are they?
- They'll help you sleep.

- It's 10:30. I'm not gonna...
- For Christ's sake.

You can discuss it in the morning,
dear, with your doctor.

In the meantime, we'll just
have to agree to disagree.

Take them here.
Have some water.

Polly Clark.

You can go now.

Teresa McCullian.

Daisy Randone.

Yearbook editor and
member of the honor society.

Heading off to Tulane University.


Andrea Jacobs...

president of the French Club
and honor society...

and on her way
to Sarah Lawrence.

- What is she doing?
- Some kind of a stunt.

Wake up, freak.


Why do they do that?

They're just doing checks.

They'll space them out more
after you've been here a while.

That girl. Polly.

How did she get all...

When she was ten...

her mother told her that
she had to give away her puppy...

'cause he was giving her a rash.

And so Polly went...

and found her father's gas can...

and she poured it all over
where she was getting the rash.

And then...

she lit a match.

Oh, my God.

What about you?
Why are you here?

Pseudologia fantastica.

What's that?

I'm a pathological liar.

- What are your plans this fall?
- What?

What are your plans this fall?

I don't have any.

I'm going to be
an ethonobotanist.

Full scholarship to M.I.T.

I'm gonna join the Krishnas.

Hare Krishna?
That's interesting, actually.

I was kidding.

You're Susanna, right?

I'm Toby.
Andrea Jacobs' brother.

I was at graduation.


You're pretty when you sleep.


It's 7:00.

I mean, everybody thinks about it
at some point.

How would you do it?

I don't know.

I guess I haven't
really thought about it.

Once it's in your head, though...

you become this...

strange, new breed.

A life-form that loves
to fantasize about its own demise.

Make a stupid remark,
kill yourself.

If you like the movie,
you live.

- You miss the train, kill yourself.
- Susanna.


Let's not talk about this
anymore, okay?


Because it's...



What are you doing?

What? 'Cause I don't want to kill
myself? That's not cool to you?

I don't want to die.
I was just talking.

Look, the world is fucked up,

It's so fucked up
that if some draft zombie...

pulls my birthday out of a barrel,
I'm gonna die.

When's your birthday?

December 30.

I'll pray for you.


You asked for this?

Are you going to watch?

Afraid so.

That's why there's so many
fuzzy-legged women around here.

Has anybody ever watched you
shave your legs?

I got two kids and one bathroom.
What do you think?

I think you should lock the door.

September 14.


- Bingo, bingo.
- "December 30."

Oh, my God.

A guy I know was just drafted.

What's his name?


He's dead now.

Get out, Lisa!

I'm not in your room, Daisy.
I'm right fucking here.

- Do you want some of my nail polish?
- Get out!

- You're looking better, Lisa.
- Thanks, Margie.

- How's the engagement going?
- Well, you know.

No, I don't. I've been away.

Joe wants me to...
Before the wedding.

Fuck his brains out.
Use a rubber.

Gosh, hell, no.

Can I bum one?

Go ahead.

So, have you had
your first Melvin yet?

Who's that?

Bald guy with a little pecker
and a fat wife.

Your "ther-rapist,"
sweet pea.


they're giving you shocks.

Or, God forbid,
letting you out.

Then you get to see
the great, wonderful Dr. Dyke.

She means Dr. Wick.

I've been in his office,
but I haven't met him yet.

He's a she.
Dr. Wick's a girl.

That's right, M.G.
Wick's a chick.

- Lisa!
- Hence the nickname.

Hey, Lil. When the fuck
is my checkup?

It's now, Lisa.
You said you'd be in your room.

Can't let you sit too long
without popping the hood.


Susanna, you have Melvin in
half an hour. I'll take you there.

I'm sorry.

Why are you using the past tense?

What do you mean?

Well, he was only drafted today...

so chances are
he's not dead yet.

Probably has several months...

before he even reports.

He was just a nice guy,
that's all.

And it made me feel bad.

You've been feeling bad
in general.

Right? You've been
feeling depressed.

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

I understand you tried
to kill yourself last week.

Anything you want to tell me
about that?

I had a headache.

So I assume you took the recommended
aspirin dosage for a headache.

I didn't try to kill myself.

- What were you trying to do?
- I was trying to make the shit stop.

The time jumps, the depression...

the headaches,
the thing with your hand?

All of the above.

I see.

What is it?
Are you puzzled about something?

Yeah. I guess I am, Melvin.

I guess I'm puzzled as to why it is
I have to be in a mental institution.

- You put yourself here.
- My parents put me here.

No, they didn't.

Everyone here's fucking crazy!

You want to go home.

Same problem.

M.G., look at me.

Play with me.

Don't be sad.

- Lisa.
- Yeah.

Thank you.

- Oh. What are these?
- Colace. It's just a laxative.

I don't need them.

Are we going to have a problem?

May I see?
Thank you.


Are we going to have a problem?

No? No problem.

Phone call, booth one.

Hold on.

- Hi, Mom.
- "Hi, honey. Your father's on too. "

He just got back from reserve hearings.
His plane got stuck at Dulles.

- "How're you doing, honey? "
- I'm fine, Dad.

- "You know, sweetheart"...
- Oh, God!

Valerie, please.

If you can't give me any Ex-Lax,
can I please have some Colace?

No. No more laxatives.

- Margie?
- I can get her some prune juice.

Prune juice!

This is outrageous.

She was wondering whether you'd
made new friends, and I said...

"No, Mom.
This isn't Camp Winnetka. "

- Daisy?
- Fuck off.

I have something you want.

Come in.

- You're all packed up.
- I'm leaving in a month.

My dad got me an apartment.

- Really? Where?
- It's near the airport.

One bedroom, two baths, eat-in chicken.
He fixed it up real nice for me.

- You mean "eat-in kitchen."
- That's what I said, asshole.

So what do you have that I want?

- Put it on the bed and get out.
- Put yours on the bed.

Oh, Jesus. Get out! Get out!

Don't take advantage
just because she's new.

- Pony up some Valium.
- Get the fuck out...

or I'm calling Valerie!

Why don't you call Valerie?

Let's ask her for some Colace
just like Susie Q's got in her hand.

Why does it stink in here?

- I don't take Valium.
- I know. That's the point.

They give them to you,
and you don't take them.

Are you going to eat that or...

You've got visitors, Daisy.

I want some fucking Colace.

Talk to Melvin tomorrow.

You know what I think?
I think you want to poop.

I think it's been days.

- It's okay. I don't care.
- I do care!

So Daddy buys you a private
and no one gets in.

You never leave except for when Valerie
makes you go to the cafeteria...

where you never eat.

You're a laxative junkie, so...

I always thought you were likeJanet
but here you are with this chicken.

So what's with that, huh?

My dad owns a deli, asshole,
with a rotisserie.

I like my dad's chicken, and
when I eat something else, I puke.

But why do you eat it here? Why
don't you like to go to the cafeteria?

Which do you like better?

Taking a dump alone
or with Valerie watching?


Everyone likes to be alone
when it comes out.

I like to be alone
when it goes in.

To me, the cafeteria is like being
with 20 girls all at once taking a dump.

That is fucked up, Daisy.

Come on.

All right, assholes!

Fine. Here.

Lisa, don't! No, please!

"Dios" fucking "mio. "

I guess that's how
Daddy knows she's eating.

When I get five,
Valerie makes me throw them away.

Scribble, scribble, scribble.

- Written anything about me yet?
- Don't do that!

Is Daisy really getting out?


She coughed up a big one.

How can... I mean, she's insane.

That's what "ther-rape-me"
is all about.

That's why fucking Freud's picture
is on every shrink's wall.

He created an industry. You lie down,
you confess your secrets, you're saved.

The more you confess, the more
they think about setting you free.

But what if you don't
have a secret?

Then you're a lifer,
like me.

I was changing her diaper...

and I turned to get the powder...

and while my back was turned,
she rolled off the bed.

She rolled off the bed
and broke her leg.

The doctor put her in a body cast,
but he also strapped her down.

- This has nothing to do...
- You never told me this.

Carl had been planning
this trip to Santa Monica...

but he had a commitment with RAND,
so we took her with us.

On the back seat, strapped
to this board, 4,000 miles.

If you like, Mrs. Kaysen,
we can discuss this further...

on the way out...

Just how long is my daughter
going to be here?

With all due respect, Mr. Kaysen...

psychiatry and economics
are different.

The length of Susanna's stay
isn't fixed.

It depends on her response
to treatment.

For what? Depression?
It's almost Christmas.

What are we supposed to say to
the people back home who care about her?

You see, Melvin,
what's going on here"... "

is my parents are having a little
holiday cocktail Christmas party crisis.

- Susanna.
- What?

What is this borderline business
you mentioned on the phone?


I don't think that's useful
to Susanna.

- I mean, not...
- What "borderline business"?

- You see, the mind...
- Borderline what?

Borderline between what and what?

It's a condition...

and it's called
Borderline Personality Disorder.

Oh, God.

It's not uncommon,
especially among young women.

What causes it?

We're really not sure.

- Is it genetic?
- Oh, Christ!

It is five times more common...

among those with a borderline...


I can't do this.

I'm sorry. I can't...
I can't do this.

" Razors pain you,
rivers are damp...

acid stains you,
drugs cause cramp...

guns aren't lawful,
nooses give...

gas smells awful,
you might as well live."


- Asshole.
- Fatso.

John. Call me a cab.

Okay, you're a cab.

Lisa said you got into Daisy's room...

and it was full of chickens.

Susanna, you have a phone call.

"So what's your "diag"-"nonsense"? "

- Who is this?
- "What'd he say to Mom and Pop? "

I have a borderline personality.

- That's nothing. What else?
- "He didn't want to say. "

He thought it would
affect my recovery.

Listen, tongue your meds tonight.

After 1:00 checks, Gretta
always goes out for a smoke.

Check the mirrors, and if they're clear,
you go down to Hector's closet.

It's near the art room,
and it will be open.


Come on.

This is how Lisa gets out
when she escapes.

We're under administration so,
no good here.

Good thing this place works
on a sliding scale.

We get to mingle
with the lock-picking trash.

Susanna, you're up.

I've only done this
once in my life.

All right!

When they built this place,
they put the tunnels in...

so the loons didn't have to
go anywhere in the cold.

I must have missed that
in the brochure.

Hey, open this door.

What the fuck are you doing?

Wow. Dr. Wick's office.

All right. Georgina Tuskin.

Susanna Kaysen.

Polly Clark.

Cynthia Crowley.

- Congratulations.
- Thank you.

Janet Webber.

Lisa Rowe.

Fuck you, Melvin.

Want to see mine?

Let me see yours.

" Highs and lows increasingly severe.

Controlling relationships
with patients.

No appreciable response to meds.

No remission observed."

That was before you ran away.

We are very rare,
and we are mostly men.

Lisa thinks she's hot shit
because she's a sociopath.

- I'm a sociopath.
- No, you're a dyke.

" Borderline Personality Disorder.

An instability of self-image,
relationships and mood.

Uncertainty about goals...

impulsive in activities
that are self-damaging...

such as casual sex."

- I like that.
- "Social contrariness...

and a generally pessimistic attitude
are often observed."

- That's me.
- That's everybody.

I mean, what kind of sex
isn't casual?

They mean promiscuous.

I'm not promiscuous.

I'm not.


Look atJanet.

No, it's all right.

You know, taking us
for ice creams in a blizzard...

makes you wonder
who the real whack jobs are.

I think it's kind of nice.

I think it's nice to do something
nice on Daisy's last day.


- I'm going to have peppermint stick.
- Me too. Can I have peppermint stick?

- Sure.
- No, it's just called a peppermint.

- Peppermint dick!
- Honestly.

Peppermint clit!

- We're just gonna have four cones.
- Four cones.

- Susanna, do you want anything?
- I'm fine.

- Ronny.
- Yes?

- You got any hot fudge?
- Yes.

Yeah? Can I have a vanilla sundae
with hot fudge...

and sprinkles?

Rainbow, not chocolate.


whipped cream...




Let's have a seat, ladies.

Melvin thought that I should
live in a halfway house.

But my father knew
that I deserved my own apartment.

So he got me
the prettiest apartment.

It has an eat-in chicken...

and all this beautiful
wicker furniture and...

Which is fantastic.
Wicker butterflies.

My very favorite part...

is like in the phone book.

There's a sign
right outside that says:

"If you lived here
you'd be home now."

Do you remember me?
You must remember me.

- Yes. Mrs. Gilcrest, hi.
- Susanna, are you okay?

I'm fine.

- Hey, Bonnie. How's Radcliffe?
- Wellesley. I'm enjoying it.

It's strong in art. I'm going
to the Sorbonne this summer.

- That's great.
- You know, I know all about you.

And I hope
they put you away forever.

- Is this the professor's wife?
- What professor?

You told everybody.

- Lady, back off.
- Was I talking to you?

No, you were spitting on me,
so mellow fucking out.

- Don't you tell me what to do.
- She gave your husband a rim job.

Big fucking deal!

I'm sure he was begging for it, and
I heard it was like a pencil anyway.

How dare you?

Some advice, okay? Don't point your
fucking finger at crazy people!

Let go of me.

- Mother.
- Get that out of my face, asshole!

Let go! Now.

Stop it!

You shared a man with that woman?

- Did you enjoy the fresh air, Lisa?
- Yeah, I did, Val. Thanks.

Good. Because it's the last time
you're leaving the ward.

Is that a dare or a double dare?

Okay. Raise your arms.

Very good.
We're going to be trees.

Feel the strength in your arms
as the branches...

and reach those branches
up to the sky.

Come on, Susanna.
Reach. Very good.

Up. Lisa, all right.

Reach your arms, girls.
Reach. Really lift.

Feel the stretch through the hip.

Very good.
Let your arms be branches.

Feel the strength of those branches.

Reach all the way up into the sky.

Very good.

Let the wind blow the leaves,
and let your fingers be the leaves.

Good, M.G.

Very good. Feel the wind.
Good. Good, Lisa.

Very good.

Just lift up. Lift up.
Very good, girls.

Now feel your feet
Feel your feet be rooted.

Go down into a plie.
Very good.

Good, girls.
Polly, very good.

Okay. Now stretch it. The wind's blowing
really hard this way. This way.

- It's blowing you over.
- That is not fair!

Seventy-four is the perfect weight!

Good luck, crazy bitch.

Now what kind of tree can you be,
Janet, down there on the floor?

I'm a fucking shrub, all right?

I cannot fight back.
You're used to it. It's so clear.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Was killed
tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

He was shot in the face as he stood
alone on the balcony of his hotel room.

Last night, he said this...

I don't know
what will happen now.

We've got some difficult days ahead.

But it really doesn't matter
with me now...

because I've been to the mountaintop.

And I don't mind.

What are your other chores like?

Well, they call me mom
"and mama and mommy and"...

Susanna, you have a visitor.

Well, how...
What are you doing here?

I ship out next week.




No. It's okay.
We have ten minutes till they come back.

What you doing?


Well, why don't you go to your room
and do nothing, huh?


- Hey, Margie.
- Hey, Lisa.

- What you doing?
- Checks.

- How's Joe?
- He's fine.


Lisa, I have to do my checks.

Yeah, and taking five minutes
from me would be a dereliction of duty?

What would you do
if I had punctured artery?

You'd just go about your rounds,
ignoring my wounds?

- Stop it.
- Stop what? Look at this.

- Go ahead.
- That's enough.

Take one fucking step,
and I'll jam this in my aorta. Go ahead.

- Stop it.
- Lisa, your aorta is in your chest.

Good to know.

- I'll make a note of that.
- Good.

Susanna, you have grounds privileges.
Why don't you take a walk?

Go get a cup of coffee.

We should get out of here.

- The cafeteria's this way.
- Just keep walking. My wheels are here...

Wait. What are we doing?

We're going to Canada.

Susanna, you're not crazy.

Okay? You don't need to be here.

I tried to kill myself, Toby.

- What, you took some aspirin...
- I took a bottle of aspirin.

And that buys you a year in this place?
Susanna, that's bullshit, okay?

They're breaking you.

Now come on, all right?
Everything's changing, man.

What the fuck do they know
about being normal?

I have friends in here.

Who? Them?

Those girls... Susanna.

They're eating grapes
off of the wallpaper.

Okay? They're insane.

If they are, I am.

Baby, listen. Come with me.

Look, my dad gave me five grand.

Okay? We can go up there.
We can build a cabin in the woods.

Susanna, look.
I know that this sounds crazy...

but I think I love you.

So come with me, okay?

Come with me.

- You wanna leave, don't you? I mean...
- Yes.

I wanna leave...

but not with you.

Not with you.

I'm sorry.

Susanna, wait a second.

Why did you do that?

Fix the lightbulb at night.

I'm not here in the morning...

and that's when you like
to draw your pictures and stuff, so...


Why do you like me?

I just like you.

That's all.

I wish you were getting better, though.

I would take you out
to go see a movie...

or something.

That'd be nice.

No! My face!

I'm okay!

Just step...
Let her be. She's fine.

Polly. Seclusion.
Take her to seclusion. Come on.

- I got you.
- Come on.

What happened to my face?
My face. Why?

Quieten down. You're all right.

- My face!
- You're all right.

I'm ugly! My face!

And the important thing is...

that Disney World is located just
a few miles from the crossing point...

"of Interstate 4 at"...

What happened to Polly?

What needs to happen?
No one's ever gonna kiss her.

Look. They're building
a new Disneyland in Florida.

If I could have any job in the world,
I'd be a professional Cinderella.

You could be Snow White,
and Polly could be Minnie Mouse.

And then everyone would hug her
and kiss her and love her...

and no one would know what's inside
that big giant head, you know?

Give me your keys.

My face!

- It's Susanna.
- Just play something.

If talking did shit,
we'd be out of here by now.

Come on.

When you're alone
and life is making you lonely

You can always go downtown

When you've got worries
All the noise and the hurry

Seems to help I know


Just listen to the music
in the traffic in the city

Linger on the sidewalks
where the neon lights are pretty

How can you lose

The lights are much brighter there

You can forget all your troubles
Forget all your cares and go

- "Downtown"
- Back to your room, please.

- "Things'll be great when you're downtown"
- Please. Back in your room.

- "Everything's waiting for you"
- McWilley will wake up.

- "Just listen to the rhythm"
- Give me the guitar.

- You're gonna get me fired. Lisa.
- "You'll be dancing with him too"

Before the night is over

- Susanna, give me the guitar.
- "Happy again"

- Oh, yeah.
- It's okay. Come here.

You're gonna get me fired,
you know that?


Everything's great

When you're downtown

I'm writing you up.

I am sick of this bullshit.

Is she here?

You can go in now.

- What did she do?
- They drugged Nurse McWilley.

Good morning, Susanna.

- Good morning.
- How are you?

I'm fine, I guess.

Sit down.

You look tired.

Polly freaked out last night, and we
stayed up singing to her... Lisa and I.

Have you become friends with Lisa?

- Why? Is that bad?
- Does it feel bad?

Before you came here,
did you have many girlfriends?

Not really.

Would you say that,
before you came here...

your friends consisted mainly
of boys, of men?

Does it say in there
that I'm promiscuous?

Why do you choose that word?

How many guys
would I have to sleep with...

to be considered promiscuous...
textbook promiscuous?

- What do you think?
- Ten. Eight. Five.

And how many girls would a guy my age
have to sleep with to be promiscuous?

Ten? Twenty? A hundred and nine?

Someone who's impulsively promiscuous...

might engage in a sex act
with a guest in their room...

and then engage in another sex act...

during the same day with an orderly.

Am I in trouble for kissing an orderly
or giving my boyfriend a blow job?

Melvin says you have some very
interesting theories about your illness.

You believe there is
a mystical undertow in life.

"Quicksands of shadows."

And another one of my theories is that
you people don't know what you're doing.

Still you acknowledge there is a problem
coping with this quicksand.

I have a problem coping
with this hospital. I wanna leave.

I can't do that.

I signed myself in.
I should be able to sign myself out.

You signed yourself into our care.
We decide when you leave.

You're not ready for it, Susanna.

Your progress has plateaued.

- Does that disappoint you?
- I'm ambivalent.

In fact,
that's my new favorite word.

Do you know what that means,

- I don't care.
- If it's your favorite word, I would...

It means "I don't care."
That's what it means.

On the contrary, Susanna...

ambivalence suggests strong feelings
in opposition.

The prefix,
as in "ambidextrous," means "both."

The rest of it,
in Latin, means "vigor."

The word suggests
that you are torn...

between two
opposing courses of action.

Will I stay or will I go?

Am I sane or am I crazy?

Those aren't courses of action.

They can be, dear, for some.

Well, then, it's the wrong word.

No. I think it's perfect.

"What world is this?

What kingdom?

What shores of what worlds?"

It's a very big question
you're faced with, Susanna.

The choice of your life.

How much will you indulge
in your flaws?

What are your flaws?
Are they flaws?

If you embrace them, will you commit
yourself to hospital for life?

Big questions. Big decisions.

Not surprising you profess
carelessness about them.

Is that it?

For now.

This way, Susanna.

John was moved to the men's ward...

and Lisa never came back
from Dr. Wick's office.

We live in a time of doubt.

The institutions we once trusted
no longer seem reliable.

- "End the war now! "
- "We are rich but our system"...

Daisy sent us a postcard
all about her new apartment.

She got a pussycat.

Where's Lisa?

You know where she is.

They just put her in another ward.

I think you need to get up.

I'm just going to rest for a while.
Just a little while.

What do you want?
What are you doing?

Fuck! You st...

Sorry. Too cold?

What the fuck are you doing?
Get me the fuck out of this tub!

Get yourself out.

Where's Lisa?
Where the fuck is Lisa?

What's the matter?
Can't hack it without her?

You banish her for singing to Polly?
We were trying to help her.

We were trying to help her!
This place is a Fascist torture chamber!

See, I worked in state hospitals.
This place is a five-star hotel.

Oh, Lordy, pick a bale of cotton

- "Oh, Lordy, pick a bale"...
- I can take a lot of crazy shit...

from a lot of crazy people,
but you...

you are not crazy.

Then what's wrong with me, huh?
What the fuck's going on inside my head?

Tell me, Dr. Val.
What's your diag-nonsense?

You are a lazy,
self-indulgent little girl...

who is driving herself crazy.

Oh, is that your own
medical opinion, huh?

Is that what you've learned in your
advanced studies at night school...

for Negro welfare mothers?

I mean, Melvin doesn't have a clue,
Wick is a psycho...

and you,
you pretend you're a doctor.

You sign the charts,
and you dole out meds.

But youse ain't no doctor,
Miss Valerie.

Youse ain't nothing
but a black nursemaid.

And you're just throwing it away.

You still wanna go to Florida?

Lisa, we need money, don't we?

- You've been tonguing your meds, right?
- Yeah, but I only have...

They gave me shocks again.

All right, Jamie?
I have to get out of here.

I'm Susanna.

What are we doing?

What is it?

" Dear sir,
please give Daisy Randone assistance...

installing a telephone
at 23 Vicar Street."

I thought
we were going to Florida.

We are. We just need a place to crash
till we get plane tickets.

Come on.

Nice coat.


You don't want me, Tony.

Yes, I do, baby.

No, you don't.
I'm a crazy girl.

You're crazy,
so we can't have one night of bliss?

I am a crazy girl. Seriously.

- You've been in a hospital?
- Yes.

Do you see purple people?

My friend.
He saw purple people.

And so the state came
and took him away.

He didn't like that.

Some time went by, and he told them
he didn't see purple people no more.

He got better.

He still sees them.

- Come on. We gotta split.
- Hey, somebody stop her!

She took my fucking wallet!

Identify yourself.

It's Susanna and...
It's Susanna.


- You got Valium?
- Yeah.

Oh, wow. Cool pad.

Peace, man. Peace.

Come on. I'm sorry for being a bitch.
I was a drag. That's for you.

That's Ruby.

My dad bought her for me.

This is the Castro Convertible.

- It pulls out.
- Yeah.

- Where's the bathroom?
- Right there.

- You don't have a tub.
- No, I don't.

- What about upstairs?
- No.

Yeah. Okay.

So, what,
did you two escape or what?

Actually, we're going to Florida.

All you have is mustard
and your chickens.

So, what are you girls
going to do in Florida?

I'm going to be the new Cinderella
at Walt Disney's new theme park.

Susanna's gonna be Snow White.

You can come if you want.

You can be the cocker spaniel
that eats spaghetti.

I wanna make pancakes.

I'm tired. I wanna go to bed.

In the morning. I want to make
pancakes in the morning.

There's a market on the corner.

Pans are under the sink.

Silver's in that drawer.

Do you have any money?

Do you have some sort
of a safety net down there?

People you know
down there in Florida?


Friends? Anything?


This is for your pancakes. Don't
make a lot of noise in the morning.

I like to sleep late.

I'll come down when I'm ready.

Give me the Valium.

We don't need your daddy's money.

Then leave it there.

Just give me the fucking Valium.

- What's this, huh? What's this?
- Let go.

- Trying out your new silver?
- Get the fuck off me.

- Less appealing for Daddy?
- Lisa.

- Look at your own arm, asshole.
- I'm sick, Daisy. We know that.

But you're in so-called "recovery"
playing Betty Crocker...

cut up like a goddamn Virginia ham.

Just stop it, okay?

Help me understand, Dais...

'cause I thought
you didn't do Valium.

Tell me how this safety net
is working for you.

Tell me that you don't take that blade
and drag it across your skin...

and pray for the courage
to press down.

Tell me how your daddy
helps you cope with that.

Illuminate me.

My father loves me.

I bet, with every inch
of his manhood.

Oh, God.

I'm going to sleep now.

Please be gone in the morning.

You're just jealous, Lisa...

because I got better...

because I was released...

because I have a chance...

at a life.

They didn't release you
because you're better, Daisy.

They just gave up.

You call this a life, hmm?

Taking Daddy's money, buying
your dollies and your knickknacks...

and eating his fucking chicken,
fattening up like a prize heifer?

You changed the scenery
but not the fucking situation...

and the warden makes house calls.

And everybody knows...

everybody knows that he fucks you.

What they don't know
is that you like it.

- Hmm? You like it.
- Shut the fuck up!

Hey, man.
It's cool. It's okay.

It's fine. It's fucking fine.
A man is a dick...

is a man is a dick
is a chicken...

is a dad, a Valium,
a speculum, whatever.

Hmm? Whatever.

You like being Mrs. Randone.

Probably all you've ever known, huh?

Have fun in Florida.

Has she come down yet?

But she's been playing
that shit all morning!

Oh, my God!

What an idiot.

- Yes. I need an ambulance.
- Make it a hearse.

Daisy Randone.
I think she killed herself.

23 Vicar Street.
Yes. Please hurry.

You pressed her buttons.
Now you're taking her money.

Please. I didn't press shit.
She was waiting for an excuse.

Come on. Pack up.
We have to go, all right?

We have to go.
Now we have money.

Susanna, don't be stupid.

All right. Fine. Be stupid.

We should send someone
for a litter box.

Can I pet the kitty?

Yeah. Be careful.

Hello, puddycat.


You're so cute.


Where's Georgina?

She's staying with Polly tonight.

They're playing with your cat.

Did they find Lisa?

I couldn't stand up to her.

A decent person
would have done something.

Shut her up.

Gone upstairs.

Talked to Daisy.

Melvin said you went upstairs.

Too late.

What would you have said to her?

I don't know.

That I was sorry.

That I'll never know
what it was like to be her.

But I know what it's like
to want to die.

How it hurts to smile.

How you try to fit in,
but you can't.

How you hurt yourself
on the outside...

to try to kill the thing
on the inside.

Susanna, it's all well and good
to tell me all this...

but you've got to tell some of this
to your doctors.

How the hell am I supposed to recover
when I don't even understand my disease?

But you do understand it.

You spoke very clearly about it
a second ago.

But I think what you've got to do
is put it down.

Put it away.
Put it in your notebook.

But get it out of yourself.

Away, so you can't
curl up with it anymore.

Lisa thinks it's a gift...

that it lets you see the truth.

Lisa's been here for eight years.

I'm so sorry.

- I was a pig.
- It's all right. Listen.

Do not drop anchor here,


When you don't want to feel...

death can seem like a dream.

"But seeing death"...

"really seeing it"...

makes dreaming about it
fucking ridiculous.

Maybe there's a moment,
growing up...

"when something peels back"...

We look for secrets
because we can't believe our minds.

And though I missed Lisa,
life was easier without her.

- "A thought is a hard thing to control. "
- "Out in the real world"...

All I know is that
I began to feel things again.

- "Crazy, sane, whatever I was... "
- "Stupid, smart"...

I knew there was only one way
back to the world...

and that was
to use the place to talk.

- My tongue becomes this intrusion.
- "So I saw the great Dr. Wick... "

three times a week...

and I let her hear
every thought in my head.

Do you think maybe I have ESP
or something, that I'm gifted?


You think I can be home
by Thanksgiving?

Nothing's happened in weeks,
you know.

The point is control.

Yeah, and here I am,
in control, off meds...

no headaches, sleeping sound.

Oh, will you help me?
Can you help me?

You don't need
to be helped any longer.

You've always had the power
to go back to Kansas.

- "I have? "
- "Then why didn't you tell her before? "

Because she wouldn't
have believed me.

She had to learn it for herself.

What have you learned, Dorothy?


"I think that it"...

that it wasn't enough just to want
to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em...

and that if I ever go looking
for my heart's desire again...

I won't look any further
than my own backyard...

because if it isn't there...

I never really lost it
to begin with.


Thanks, Joe.

Go away.

Go away!

It's me.

It's been a while...

and I just wanted to say hey.

- You okay?
- Fabulous.

You're gonna be late.
Gretta's waiting for you.

I gotta go. Dr. Wick.

They still fucking with you?

They're, um...

Actually, they're letting me out.

Oh, that's great.

You better go.

Uh, well, my dad got me a job,
a part-time job...

at a bookstore in Harvard Square.

And I got an apartment
with a phone so I can...

Stay in touch. Uh-huh.

Yep. And I'll be seeing Sonia
twice a week.

Is that your long-term plan...
to work in retail?

My plan? No.

Then what do you plan to do?

I plan to write.

Polly Clark.

Cynthia Crowley.

Susanna Kaysen.

- You know, I don't think I need them.
- Sleeping pills, darling.

You want to be rested for tomorrow,
don't you? Last night's a long one.

Good girl. Katie Cooper.


Teresa McCullian.

- Stuck. Garbage.
- Relax.

- Come on
- Come on. Open the door.

- Come on!
- Leave me alone!

Get off!

- Come on! This way!
- Stop it!

Get off me!


"If I spread my fingers,
my hand looked more human...

so I did that.

But it was tiring holding my fingers
apart, so I let them relax...

and then, I turned my hand over.

Oh, my God.

And the back of it wasn't much better.
My veins bulged."

Shut up.
I'm reading. Shut up!

"I can honestly say
that my memory has been transformed.

So by Freud's definition,
I have achieved mental health.

And my discharge sheet reads,
'recovered. '


Don't do this!

"Whatever it was,
I just didn't want it.

Find something new.

Had my personality...

Had I stopped arguing
with my personality?

We were just reading your book.

We figured since it's your last night,
we'd have a little read-aloud.

Celebrate all the wisdom
you're carrying into the world.

You know, try to learn something,
grow as people.

We read how when you were a baby,
they strapped you to a board.

And how you think Georgina doesn't
want to leave and Polly never will...

and that I'm criminally insane.

What are you guys doing here?

" Lisa's eyes, once so magnetic,
now just look empty."

That is mine.

"Georgina lies only to people
who keep her here.

Sometimes I think
she wants to live in Oz forever."

- How perceptive.
- You better erase that thing...

'cause my father is the head
of the CIA...

and he could have you dead
in minutes!

- "In this world, looks are everything.
- Oh, God.

Sometimes I think Polly's sweetness
and purity aren't genuine at all...

but a desperate attempt to make it
easier for us to look at her."

So nice of you to pass judgement on us
now that you're cured.

What the fuck are you doing, Lisa?

I'm playing the villain, baby,
just like you want.

- I try to give you everything you want.
- No, you don't.

You wanted your file, I found your file!
You wanted out, I got you out!

You needed money, I found you some!

I'm consistent! I told you the truth!
I didn't write it in a book!

I told you to your face...

and I told Daisy to her face
what everybody knew and wouldn't say...

and she killed herself.

And I played the fucking villain,
just like you wanted.

Why would I want that?

Because it makes you the good guy,
sweet pea.

And you come back here, all sweetness
and light and sad and contrite...

and everybody sits, wringing their hands
congratulating you and your bravery.

Meanwhile, I'm blowing guys at
a bus station for the money in her robe!

- Stop it, Lisa!
- Shut up, Polly!

Where are you going?

- I'm talking. Where are you going?
- Lisa, stop it, please!

Where are you going?
I'm talking to you.

You don't like me anymore?

No, I don't!

- 'Cause you're free?
- Shut up!

You think you're free? I'm free!

- You don't know what freedom is!
- Please, Lisa!

I'm free!

I can breathe!

And you... you're gonna go choke
on your average fucking mediocre life.

You know, there are too many
buttons in the world.

There's too many buttons,
and they're just...

There's way too many
just begging to be pressed.

They're just begging to be pressed.

You know?
They're just begging to be pressed.

And it makes me wonder.

You know, it really
makes me fucking wonder...

why doesn't anybody ever press mine?

Why am I so neglected?
Why doesn't anybody...

reach in, rip out the truth
and tell me...

that I'm a fucking whore
and that my parents wish I were dead?

Because you're dead already, Lisa!

No one cares if you die, Lisa...

because you're dead already.

Your heart is cold!

That's why you keep coming back here.

You're not free.

You need this place. You need it
to feel alive. It's pathetic.


I've wasted a year of my life.

And maybe everyone out there
is a liar.

And maybe the whole world...

is stupid and ignorant.

But I'd rather be in it.

I'd rather be fucking in it...

than down here with you.


Please don't.

Oh, God.

Did you get it?

I had to trade with a transvestite
in the men's ward.


I'm not really dead.

I know.

I'm gonna miss you, Suzie Q.

No, you're not.

You're gonna get out of here,
and you're gonna come and see me.


You know all that stuff
I write in my journal...

I don't know what I'm saying.

They're just thoughts.

Maybe I'm a liar.

Maybe not.

See you.

You think if I left Ruby here,
you'd take care of her for me?

Let me play with her
when I come for my therapy?

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

Thank you.

Bye, Ruby.


- Yeah.
- Bye, Susanna.

Remember me
when you shave your legs.

Declared healthy...

and sent back into the world.

"My fi"n"al diagnosis... "

a recovered borderline.

What that means
I still don't know.

Was I ever crazy?


Or maybe life is.

I remember you.

Where are you going?

17 Burlingame.

All right.

Crazy isn't being broken...

or swallowing a dark secret.

It's you or me...


If you ever told a lie
and enjoyed it.

If you ever wished
you could be a child forever.

They were not perfect...

but they were my friends.

And by the '70s...

most of them were out...

living lives.

Some I've seen...

some never again.

But there isn't a day
"my heart doesn't fi"n"d them. "