Running with Scissors

Based on the memoir of Augusten Burroughs about how his bipolar mother gave him up for adoption to his shrink, and how he spent his teen years with a weird-ass shrink family.

How a young boy could grow up with such a smothering and then abandoning mother, dumped off at her shrink’s house who was this side of crazy, and turn out normal is amazing. While watching, there is a lot of craziness that Augusten witnesses from his mother who makes everything about her, including having him staying home from grade school to listen to her poetry performance that she is practicing for when she is famous. She starts to go to therapy since she is stuck creatively. She wants to be published in the New Yorker, but gets rejection letter after rejection letter. She blames everything on her husband who ignores her and drinks. Her therapist worships her, but her husband does not. She claims her husband is trying to kill her.

Some of the frustration she felt could be from being a bored housewife, but the longer the movie went on, the more it became clear that she wasn’t right in the head. Her therapist’s ideas of helping were to just give her whatever medication showed up in the mail as samples. Sometimes she was so drugged out, she could barely function. No wonder she thought it would be best for her son to be raised by someone else. The therapist’s house is a mess and everyone inside of it is insane, including the therapist. Everyone there is a caricature though. There doesn’t seem to be anyone real. The closest anyone is to real seems to be Augusten and his mother.

With all the kookiness in the house, while it is amusing, it gets tiresome. I felt like I was watching a wacky sitcom instead of something that really happened. I thought it went on for too long and was ready for it to end when it was about three-fourths of the way through. When it ended, Jer read in the credits about it being a memoir and said, “That wasn’t based on a true story was it?” When I replied it was, he commented how screwed up that kid’s life was. It was screwed up, but didn’t really make for a great movie.

Rating: C+


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