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CastKevin Spacey, Mark Webber, Keke Palmer, Saffron Burrows
Year released2009
Spoiler alert

Spoiler alert!

Blog entry

Moral: Despite rampant drug use and boundary violations associated with variably competent psychotherapy a bunch of people who like movies (or making movies) can survive the suicides of their loved ones, in Hollywood at least. Reminds me of The Son's Room.

"Shrink" here, we finally discover, refers to a psychotherapist with a PhD, presumably a psychologist. In the wake of his wife's suicide, and the suicide of the mother of a patient, several of his patients' lives become intertwined with his and each others', and with lots of drugs. It seems that film makers think we professionals exaggerate the harm that comes from boundary violations. They may be right, but we still need the boundaries and maybe some flexibility.

0:01 Dr. Carter looks bereft when he looks at the empty sofa in his home. He has difficulty recording a lecture about happiness: "Feelings are full of shit"
0:05 Dr. Carter appears drunk; smokes something; extinguishes and saves a marijuana cigarette for later
0:06 In the first psychotherapy session the patient tells Dr. Carter he is worried "about everything," later adds that in the past he "did a lot of blow" Dr. Carter seems distracted, asks, "Do you know why?"
0:10 The first of many encounters between Dr. C. and his drug dealer
0:14 In session with an aging actor, Dr. C. seems more engaged; The patient talks about sex addiction, but Dr. C. reassures him and redirects him to focus on his alcohol problem.
0:18 Dr. C seems taken aback as he enters a room full of friends/family. They say,  "we care... you have a drug problem... let us help... you are "self medicating". He asks, "is this an intervention?" It is. He tells the spokesperson, "you're my wife's doctor... I'm not an addict... I'm a doctor... my wife died..." Dr. C's father is there. Someone says they have arranged a bed for him at a rehab facility. Dr. C. announces that his wife killed herself, which is apparently new information for most of those present.
0:21 Jemma, a black teen, leaves class, obviously disturbed, hits a mirror, breaking it and her wrist
0:22 Dr. C. asks the drug dealer whether he has a drug problem. H says it's "grief"
0:23 Dr. C. in session with a couple: The wife says her husband has become a narcissist. When Dr. C. guesses she feels numb we see that he has identified with her.
0:25 Jemma's school principle or counselor tells her she needs to "talk to" someone
0:27 Worrier's friend at party: "on ecstasy all day"
0:29 Dr. C. relates a dream to his father who also appears to be a pscyhotherapist. Dr. C. suggests he suffers from "compasion fatigue syndrome." Is the dream a metaphor for his predicament? Dr. C. tries to avoid his father's encouragement that he take on the case of Jemma
0:30 Jemma rides in a car with Dr. C. Is this a boundary violation?
0:32 Dr. C. tries to offer help to Jemma, now in his office, tells her his services are pro bono (Is this another boundary problem?), she does not participate. He reads her file, appears shocked, says something about her mother. Jemma leaves.
0:34 Dr. C's writer-relative asks for psychotherapy. Dr. C refuses. He can stick to boundaries after all.
0:35 Dr. C, drinking with writer-relative, recalling the deceased wife? The writer-relative quotes Dr. C about happiness. We see for the first time Dr. C is a PhD from the cover of his book.
0:40 Dr. C discusses a case while smoking with his dealer.
0:44 Second session with Jemma: she asks about his famous clients; he says he can't discuss them; she begins to open up.
0:48 In a store Dr. C encounters the wife of couple he treats, their second chance meeting outside of his office. They eat ice cream together. Boundary problems.
0:50 The worrier insufflating a drug, presumably cocaine, acting worried
0:55 Director snorting, presumably cocaine.
0:59 Dr. C drives Jemma to her MD's office for attention to her broken wrist; Dr. C smokes in the restroom; Jemma confronts him: "Getting high at a pediatrician's office could be seen as a cry for help."
1:00 Dr. C in a movie theater with Jemma
1:03 Dr. C, apparently about his wife's suicide "its my fault... I should have seen it coming."
1:11 Interviewer introduces Dr. C on a talk show as "shrink of the stars." The topic, suicide: "why do they do it?" triggers Dr. C who proclaims that his wife did it, and that he himself is a fraud.
1:13 The director passes out, from drugs? In his hospital bed the visitor reads the list of drugs: cocaine, SOMA, amphetamine, Klonopin, alcohol, ketamine
1:18 Jemma enters Dr. C's office, finds him on the sofa. He says it's to be her "last session... it's me." She asks him to read a letter and tell her if it says why. He reads it to himself, says it does not say why, hugs Jemma, tears. What about boundaries here?
1:22 Dr. C buys drug from dealer
1:23 Jemma confronts Dr. C
1:25  Dr. C lights a joint, finds his dog dead, buries the dog, passes out. In hospital bed with oxygen prongs: the dealer is in the next bed, apologizes because the drug that got them there was "laced in embalming fluid." Does this mean phencyclidine? Sherms?
1:29 Dr. C flushes drugs
1:34 Jemma finds Dr. C in back of his office, not smoking for the first time. He asks her, "It's never going away, is it?"
1:34 Worrier driving director to rehab.
1:36 Dr. C sees female patient at her house, says he wants to end her treatment so he can have a, presumably romantic, relationship with her. Boundaries again. But the film ends with him getting in bed alone.

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