17th Jan2016

‘The Adderall Diaries’ Review

by Catherina Gioino

Stars: Amber Heard, James Franco, Christian Slater, Ed Harris, Wilmer Valderrama, Cynthia Nixon, Jim Parrack, Timothée Chalamet, Danny Flaherty, Michael Cristofer, Tonya Glanz, Jessica Leccia, Gabriela Fresquez, Casper Andreas, Jimmy Gary Jr. | Written by Stephen Elliott, Pamela Romanowsky | Directed by Pamela Romanowsky


Adderall: now coming to a college campus near you. Well besides its intended usage for concentration in individuals who have ADD, Adderall plays a part in the aptly titled The Adderall Diaries, a film, starring Amber Heard, Christian Slater, Ed Harris and James Franco, that follows a writer who is emotionally and creatively depressed, all the while dealing with a terrible childhood and contemplating his relationships with the people who have entered and left from his life.

The Adderall Diaries is adapted from Stephen Elliott’s book of the same name, which is about the author writing about the Hans Reiser murder trial all the while coming to terms with his father and the relationship he has with him – or lack thereof.

Stephen Elliott, played by Franco, is living the high life: his books are selling, his agent Jen Davis (Cynthia Nixon) is getting more book deals for him, and has a pretty nice apartment. He has some kind of childhood trauma that still haunts him, but he uses it to his advantage, writing those books that got him to the life he lives now. Things get a bit awry when his father Neil Elliott starts showing up, getting Stephen upset to say the least. Neil confronts his son at a live reading about Stephen’s lies in his memoir. After word of this ordeal leaks out, Stephen starts losing his contract deals in regards to the lies in his memoir, and causes a downfall for Stephen. Stephen is then asked to write about the Hans Reiser (Christian Slater) case, which causes his endless spiral downwards as he starts becoming addicted to Adderall and starts calling on hookers, including Lana (Amber Heard) to ease his troubles…

Pamela Romanowsky takes her first jab at writing and directing a film; and she got all the help she needed in thanks to Franco. Romanowsky met Franco at NYU while studying film and the two have remained friends since, with Romanowsky getting to make this film after making a short with Franco years before. Despite the big-name cast Romanosky’s film has gone from the festival circuit directly to cable/PPV television after The Adderall Diaries was acquired by A24 Films and DirecTV Cinema, eventually premiering on DirecTV before a theatrical and video on demand release.

The Adderall Diaries is in limited releas. Check out the original festival trailer for the film below:


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