Diagnosing Depressives in Popular Film

Wendy Caroll (in Wendy and Lucy)

Overview: Wendy is en route to Alaska, probably to meet her “spiritual mate” Christopher McCandless, that irl dude who went to Alaska to die in an abandoned bus. She gets stuck in Oregon, with only $500 bucks, car trouble, and a slowly-getting-its-patience-tested dog. The movie is really subtle and preciously arty, but basically, we just follow Wendy around in her Goodwill clothes with no make-up and her cell phone constantly low on batteries. There’s a big time Gen-x and/or -y slacker vibe, with annoying oblique political commentary on an alienating post-America. A failed dog food shoplifting attempt lands her in jail. How difficult is it to just stay at your cubicle job, buy dog food at Safeway, and watch Netflix movies with your MBA boyfriend? But no, Ms. Anarchy over here gotta “find herself.” Wendy obviously is going through a quarter-life crisis, which is fine, but please leave the dog out of it.

Diagnosis: Premenstrual syndrome, liberal education.

Suggested Medication: Advil, Fox News.

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