The Adderall Diaries
by Bobby Blakey
James Franco is one of those actors that has an interesting career where he takes on a variety of roles both big budget and independent. No matter the project he always seems to give it his all and offers up some great performances. His latest film The Adderall Diaries features a great supporting cast including Amber Heard, Ed Harris, Christian Slater, Wilmer Valderrama, Cynthia Nixon, and Jim Patrick, but does it offer up a story worth writing about or is it all talk and no truth?
The Adderall Diaries follows a writer stymied by past success, writers block, substance abuse, relationship problems and a serious set of father issues, Elliott's cracked-out chronicle of a bizarre murder trial amounts to less than the sum of its parts. Not long into the 2007 trial of programmer Hans Reiser, accused of murdering his wife, the defendant's friend Sean Sturgeon obliquely confessed to several murders (though not the murder of Reiser's wife). Elliott, caught up in the film-ready twist and his tenuous connection to Sturgeon (they share a BDSM social circle), makes a gonzo record of the proceedings. The result is a scattered, self-indulgent romp through the mind of a depressive narcissist obsessed with his insecurities and childhood traumas. This is an interesting portrayal of this writers life and struggles that is filled with great performances across the board. The story drags a bit at the beginning as it sets the tone and all of the characters in place, but once it gets its footing it manages to be an interesting character piece. There is nothing overly standout here other than the great performances all around, but it is a film that will likely connect with a lot of people due to the level of issues that it deals with.
In the end this is a film that kind of came in under the radar, but offers up a great finished product filled with a great cast and deep layered story that spotlights numerous real life issues that plague a lot of people in the world. In addition to the film this release offers up numerous special features including deleted scenes, commentary and a featurette taking you deeper behind the struggle.