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Side Effects: Watch As Directed


 Jude Law & Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Side Effects" © Di Bonaventura Pictures

Jude Law & Catherine Zeta-Jones in “Side Effects”
© Di Bonaventura Pictures


(This paragraph should sound like the last part of a drug commercial where they rush through all the side effects and disclaimers.)

If you have been exposed to any press or publicity concerning the movie Side Effects, you may anticipate the following:

-the apprehension that this is a movie that will be biased against “Big Pharma” likely to provoke a national examination on our current societal dependence on anti-depressant medication, particularly the class of medications known as SSRIs.

-an assumption that this movie will be an exposé of the over-diagnosis of depressive illness and how the uncomfortable relationship between pharmaceutical sales representatives and doctors could be hindering effective treatment.

These expectations may provoke hesitation when deciding whether to view this movie. The aforementioned symptoms are entirely intentional and will dissipate as the movie is being viewed.

(You can drop the voice now.)

Apart from Le Movie Snob, read no further press nor reviews of this movie.  Just go see it.

To reveal further details of the film itself would violate my personal and professional ethical code as your movie mentor.   Be assured that this is the movie that we Movie Snobs go to the movies wanting to see.

(Now bring back the voice)

Possible side effects after seeing Side Effects may include:

-profound disappointment that director Steven Soderbergh has declared this the last movie he will direct.*

-face-palming by drug companies and advertising agencies who didn’t think of the drug Ablixa‘s brilliant tag line: “Take Back Tomorrow”

-heightened brain activity at conclusion of movie accompanied by feelings of satisfaction that are associated with having been perfectly entertained.  

Enfin!  Un film super!

 *The HBO biopic he directed about Liberace, Behind the Candelabra, has yet to air, and he will not rule out directing for television, so already having a relationship with HBO….

Mostly, he wants to paint.  Like Tony Curtis. And Sir Anthony Hopkins.  Not least Dennis Hopper, all of whom became better known for their painting than their work in movies.

N’est-ce pas?

 Steven Soderbergh NOT painting (with Rooney Mara) © NY Daily News

Steven Soderbergh NOT painting (with Rooney Mara)
© NY Daily News








This site was borne of my passion for movies, particularly French films. I have spent time in France and am fluent in the language, hence the “le”. The “snob” part, while of French origin, is not meant to intimidate, but rather an effort to reclaim the word from the pretentious, just as the gay community has done with the word “queer.” We’re all snobs; we all like what we like.


  1. So, you are saying this was not an anti-SSRI drugs movie? I just saw it and it was exactly that – making us all look at the people in our lives taking these drugs and feeling that they are no longer in control of themselves. Making us feel threatened – hence, the “thriller” tag. And those people who take these sorts of anti-depressant drugs were painted by the movie as being dupes, and made to feel guilty for needing them. There was no wrap-up at the end, as you are implying. Did you see the whole movie? I’m pretty angry about it for the sake of those I know who take these drugs and as a consequence have a normal life for the first time.

    • Not at all! I agree with you in that I do think there was an anti-SSRI tone. That’s precisely why I wanted to mock their misleading publicity suggesting this was a movie about anti-depressants and Big Pharma. During the first part, I was getting miffed: noticing the blatant lack of proper medical protocol in the scenes with the psychiatrists, the brand-name pill dropping by every character, and the obvious, yet clever, satire of the Ablixify advertising. However, once the story got under way, I decided this movie was really a thriller, not a societal commentary. As such, I didn’t want to highlight the (dubious) medical aspects of the film, but rather the excellent storyline. I don’t share your view that the movie mocked those who take drugs. I don’t want to reveal any details, but remember which characters were on medications and which were not. They mocked the drug industry, certainly. I would like to think the thrilling plot is what the audiences will take away; notice the film has failed to ignite a national debate in the major media. There are some propagan-docs out there that dismiss depression as a real illness, and they truly deserve the wrath that this movie provoked in you. I share your opinion but don’t think this particular movie is your target. Thank you for taking the time to read my review and share your views. Revenez!

  2. I just saw this movie and was glad I didn’t read any other reviews (except yours) or spoilers beforehand, because I had no idea where this story was going, which made it more surprising and enjoyable.

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