Girl, Interrupted

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Girl, Interrupted is a 1999 film based on the novel Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, about her experiences in a psychiatric hospital in the late 1960s. Angelina Jolie won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Directed by James Mangold. Novel written by Susanna Kaysen, and screenplay also by James Mangold.
Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy Taglines

Susanna Kaysen[edit]

  • [narrating] 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 was moving while sitting still? Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe it was the '60's. Or maybe I was just a girl... interrupted.
  • [to Lisa] I've wasted a year of my life here. 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.
  • [narrating] Was I ever crazy? Maybe. Or maybe life is... Crazy isn't being broken or swallowing a dark secret. It's you or me amplified. 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 find them.
  • I know what its 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.

Lisa Rowe[edit]

  • [to Susanna] You think you're free? I'm free! You don't know what freedom is! I'm free! I can breathe! And you - you're gonna go choke on your average fuckin' mediocre life!
  • [Southern accent] Razors pain you, Rivers are damp / Acid stains you, Drugs cause cramp / Guns aren't lawful, Nooses give / Gas smells awful, Ya might as well live.
  • [to Daisy about going to Florida] I am going to be the 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.
  • Note that the poem is a quote from Dorothy Parker's "Résumé" (1925)

Dialogue[edit]

Dr. Crumble: Susanna, four days ago, you chased a bottle of aspirin with a bottle of vodka.
Susanna Kaysen: I had a headache.

Susanna Kaysen: What the fuck are you doing, Lisa?
Lisa Rowe: I'm playing the villain, baby, just like you want. I try to give you everything you want.
Susanna Kaysen: No you don't.
Lisa Rowe: You wanted your file, I found you your file. You wanted out, I got you out. You needed money, I found you some. I'm fucking consistent. I told you the truth. I didn't write it down in a fucking 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.
Susanna Kaysen: Why would I want that?
Lisa Rowe: Because it makes you the good guy, sweet pea. You come back here, all sweetness and light, and sad and contrite, and everybody congratulating you on your bravery. And meanwhile, I'm blowing the guys at the bus station for the money that was in her fucking robe!

Janet Webber: I want my fucking clothes!
Valerie Owens: Then you'll have to eat something, won't you?
Janet Webber: [singing] Oh Lordy, pick a bale o' cotton / Oh Lordy, pick a bale o' hay / Gotta jump down spin around pick a bale o' cotton / Jump down spin sround pick a bale o' hay.
Valerie Owens: [to Susanna] She thinks that bothers me.

Lisa Rowe: Hey, Torch.
Polly Clark: Hey, Lisa.
Lisa Rowe: Did you miss me?
Polly Clark: Not much.

Susanna Kaysen: Oh my God... a guy I know was drafted.
Janet Webber: What's his name?
Susanna Kaysen: Toby.
Janet Webber: He's dead now.

Daisy Randone: Get out, Lisa!
Lisa Rowe: I'm not in your room, Daisy. I'm right fucking here. I was gonna offer you nail polish.
Daisy Randone: GET OUT!

Nurse Margie: You're looking better, Lisa.
Lisa Rowe: Why, thanks Margie. So how's the engagement going?
Nurse Margie: You know.
Lisa Rowe: No, I don't know. I've been away.
Nurse Margie: Joe wants me to... before the wedding.
Lisa Rowe: Fuck his brains out - use a rubber.

Lisa Rowe: So, have you had your first Melvin yet?
Susanna Kaysen: Who's that?
Lisa Rowe: Bald guy with a little pecker and a fat wife. You're ther-rapist, sweet pea. Unless, uh... unless they're giving you shocks. Or, God forbid, letting you out. Then you get to see the great, wonderful Dr. Dyke.
Nurse Margie: She means Dr. Wick.
Susanna Kaysen: Oh, I've been in his office, but I haven't met him yet.
M.G.: He's a she. Dr. Wick's a girl.
Lisa Rowe: That's right, M.G., Wick's a chick.
M.G.: Wick's a chick.
Lisa Rowe: Hence the nickname.

Daisy Randone: My dad got me an apartment.
Susanna Kaysen: Really? Where?
Daisy Randone: It's near the airport. One bedroom, two baths, eat-in chicken.
Susanna Kaysen: You mean eat-in kitchen.
Daisy Randone: That's what I said, asshole. So what do you have that I want?
[Susanna has just showed Daisy some Colace tablets]
Daisy Randone: Put them on the bed and get out.
Lisa Rowe: [from the door] Put yours on the bed.
Daisy Randone: Oh, Jesus! Get out! GET OUT!
[Lisa enters and shuts the door behind her]
Lisa Rowe: Come on Dais, don't take advantage of her just because she's new. Pony up some Valium.
Daisy Randone: Get the fuck out of here or I'm calling Valerie! VALERIE!
Lisa Rowe: Yeah, why don't you call Valerie, shall we? Let's call Valerie and ask her for some Colace just like Suzie Q's got in her fuckin' hand. Why does it stink in here?

Georgina Tuskin: Lisa, is Daisy really getting out?
Lisa Rowe: Yeah, she coughed up a big one.
Susanna Kaysen: But how could - I mean she's... insane.
Lisa Rowe: Yeah, well that's what ther-rape-me's all about. That's why fuckin' Freud's pictures on every shrink's wall. He created a fuckin' industry. You lie down, you confess your secrets and you're saved. Ca-ching! The more you confess, the more they think about settin' you free.
Susanna Kaysen: But what if you don't have a secret?
Lisa Rowe: Then you're a lifer, like me.

Susanna Kaysen: [picks up phone] Hello.
Lisa Rowe: [on phone] So what's your diag-nonsense?
Susanna Kaysen: Who is this?
Lisa Rowe: What'd he say to Mom and Pop?
[Susanna looks out and sees Lisa staring back at her two booths back]
Susanna Kaysen: I have a Borderline Personality.
Lisa Rowe: Oh, that's nothing. What else?
Susanna Kaysen: He didn't say. Thought it would affect my recovery.
Lisa Rowe: All right, listen. Tongue your meds tonight. After 1 o'clock checks, Gretta always goes out for a smoke. Check the mirrors and if they're clear, you go down to Hector's closet. It'a near the art room and it will be open.

Lisa Rowe: We are very rare and we are mostly men.
Janet Webber: Lisa thinks she's hot shit 'cause she's a sociopath.
Cynthia Crowley: I'm a sociopath.
Lisa Rowe: No, you're a dyke.
Susanna Kaysen: [reading from a book] "Borderline Personality Disorder. An instability of self-image, relationships and moods... uncertainty about goals, impulsive in activities that are self-damaging, such as casual sex."
Lisa Rowe: I like that.
Susanna Kaysen: "Social contrariness and a generally pessimistic attitude and often observed" Well, that's me.
Lisa Rowe: That's everybody.
Susanna Kaysen: I mean, what kind of sex isn't casual?
Janet Webber: They mean promiscuous.
Susanna Kaysen: I'm not promiscuous. I'm not.

Lisa Rowe: Lady, back off!
Mrs. Gilcrest: Was I talking to you?
Lisa Rowe: No, you were spitting on me, so mellow fuckin' out!
Mrs. Cilcrest: Don't you tell me what to do.
Lisa Rowe: Look, she gave your husband a rim job. Big fuckin' deal! I'm sure he was begging for it, I heard it was like a pencil anyway.
Mrs. Gilcrest: Why you - how dare you!
Lisa Rowe: Some advice, okay? Just don't point you fuckin' finger at crazy people!

Valerie: Did you enjoy the fresh air, Lisa?
Lisa: Yeah I did, Val. Thanks.
Valerie: Good, 'cause it's the last time you're leaving the ward.
Lisa: Is that a dare or a double dare?

Janet Webber: That is not fair. That is not fair! That is not fair! Seventy-four is the perfect weight!
Lisa Rowe: [to Daisy] Good lock, crazy bitch.
Instructor: Now what kind of a tree can you be, Janet, down there on the floor?
Janet Webber: I'm a fucking shrub, all right?

Lisa Rowe: Hey Torch! Whatcha' doin'?
Polly Clark: Nothing.
Lisa Rowe: Well, why don't you go to your room and do nothing?
[waves at Polly with puppet, and Polly runs to room crying]

[Nurse Margie is doing her checks. Lisa decides to distract her so Susanna can have time with her boyfriend. She wheels in front of Nurse Margie]

Lisa Rowe: Hey Margie!
Nurse Margie: Hey, Lisa!
Lisa Rowe: Watcha doin'?
Nurse Margie: Checks?
Lisa Rowe: How's Joe?
Nurse Margie: He's fine. [she tries to move around Lisa, but Lisa moves in front of her again]
Lisa Rowe: Yeah...
Nurse Margie: Lisa, I have to do my checks!
Lisa Rowe: Yeah, and what? Taking five minutes for me would be a dereliction of duty? [Nurse Margie tries to move again, Lisa moves in front of her]
Lisa Rowe: Huh? What if I had a punctured artery? What would you do? Would you just keep going about your rounds, ignoring my wounds?
Nurse Margie: Lisa, stop it!
Lisa Rowe: Stop what? You fucking piece- [She grabs the pen from the clipboard and holds it to her neck, clicking the pen open]
Lisa Rowe: Look at this! Go ahead!
Nurse Margie: That's enough!
Lisa Rowe: Take one fuckin' step and I'll jam this in my aorta! GO AHEAD! [holds pen closer to her neck]
Nurse Margie: Stop it!

[Nurse Val comes over, a smirk on her face]

Nurse Valerie Owens: Lisa...your aorta is in your chest.

[Lisa clicks the pen shut and gives it back to Nurse Margie]

Lisa Rowe: Good to know! I'll make a note of that...
Nurse Valerie Owens: Good.

Valerie Owens: You know, I can take a lot of crazy shit from a lot of crazy people. But you? You are not crazy.
Susanna Kaysen: Then what's wrong with me, huh? What the fuck is going on inside? Tell me, Dr. Val, what's your diag-nonsense?
Valerie Owens: [hovering over Susanna] You are a lazy, self-indulgent little girl who is driving herself crazy.
Susanna Kaysen: Is that your... professional opinion? 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 to be a doctor. You review the charts and dole out meds. But "you ain't no doctor, Miss Valerie. You ain't nothing but a black nursemaid."
Valerie Owens: And you're just throwing that away.

Susanna Kaysen: You don't want me, Toby.
Tony: Yes I do, baby.
Susanna Kaysen: No, you don't, I'm a crazy girl.
Tony: You're crazy so we can't one night of bliss?
Susanna Kaysen: I am a crazy girl, seriously.
Tony: You've been in a hospital.
Susanna Kaysen: Yes.
Tony: 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, and he told 'em he didn't see purple people no more.
Susanna Kaysen: He got better.
Tony: Nah, he still sees 'em.

Daisy Randone: You're just jealous, Lisa... because I got better... because I was released... because I have a chance... at a life.
Lisa Rowe: They didn't release you 'cause 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 fuckin' chicken, fattening up like a prize fuckin' heifer. You changed the scenery, but not the fuckin' situation, and the warden makes housecalls. And everybody knows, everbody knows that he fucks you. What they don't know is that you like it, hmm? You like it.
Susanna Kaysen: [to Lisa] Shut the fuck up!
Lisa Rowe: 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, whatever. [to Daisy] You like being Mrs. Randone. Probably all you've ever known.
Daisy Randone: Have fun in Florida. [goes upstairs to her room]

Valerie Owens: [about Daisy] What would you have said to her?
Susanna Kaysen: I don't know. That I was sorry. That I will 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. You hurt yourself on the outside to try to kill the thing on the inside.
Valerie Owens: Susanna, it's all and well and good to tell me all this; but you gotta tell some of this to your doctors.
Susanna Kaysen: How the hell am I suppose to recover when I don't even understand my disease?
Valerie Owens: But you do understand it. You spoke very clearly about it a second ago. But I think what you gotta 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.
Susanna Kaysen: Lisa thinks it's a gift. That it let's you see the truth.
Valerie Owens: Lisa's been here for eight years.
Susanna Kaysen: [crying] I'm so sorry. I was a bitch, I was a bitch.
Valerie Owens: Do not drop anchor here, you understand?
Susanna Kaysen: [narrating] When you don't want to feel, death 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... Maybe, maybe, we look for secrets because we can't believe our minds... [overlapping words] All I know is that there's I began to feel things again. Whatever I was, I knew that there was only one way back to the world, and that was to use the place to talk. So I saw the great and wonderful Dr. Wick three times a week, and let her hear every thought in my head.

Lisa Rowe: You know, there's 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 - they're just begging to be pressed! And it makes me wonder, it really makes me fucking wonder, why doesn't anyone ever press mine? Why am I so neglected? Why doesn't anyone reach in and rip out the truth and tell me that I'm a fucking whore, or that my parents wish I were dead?
Susanna Kaysen: 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 to feel alive. It's pathetic.

[Lisa's arms and legs are strapped to the bed. Susanna takes out nail polish and starts painting Lisa's nails]
Lisa Rowe: [crying] I'm not really dead.
Susanna Kaysen: I know.
Lisa Rowe: I'm gonna miss you, Suzie Q.
Susanna Kaysen: No, you're not. You're going get out of here, and you're gonna come and see me. Okay?
Lisa Rowe: [takes a deep breath and looks away] Yeah.

[Susanna is leaving. Georgina sheepishly looks up from the cards she's playing with]
Susanna Kaysen: Hey, Georgina? You know all that stuff I write in my journals? I don't know what I'm saying. They're just... thoughts. Who knows, maybe I'm the liar.
Georgina Tuskin: Maybe not. [They hug]

Taglines[edit]

  • Based on a true story.
  • The crazy thing is, you're not crazy.
  • Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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