Analyzing 3 Characters' Mental Breakdowns in 3 Movies

Wednesday, 5.13.21

After watching 2021 Promising Young Woman movie, I remember to other films, Young Adult (2011) and Blue Jasmine (2013) had a similar theme. It was mostly about a woman going through a mental breakdown because something in their life fell apart. In Promising Young Woman, the main character, played by Carey Mulligan, becomes depressed and psychotic, determined to get justice for her college friend who was killed during a college frat party. She thinks all men are assholes, and she distrusts all men until she falls in love with one of them because he seems different, although she hurts him along the way. In Young Adult, Charlize Theron plays a novelist who feels lonely and depressed because of her failed marriage, and she suddenly decides to go after her ex-boyfriend from high school, even though him and his wife just had a baby girl. She goes back to the small town, even though she despises that hick town, just to flirt with her very married ex-boyfriend, ends up making a fool of herself, and having a one-night stand with the nerdy crippled guy from high school because she became friends with him.  In Blue Jasmine, the Cate Blanchett character has a mental breakdown when her wealthy businessman husband dies, which changes her lifestyle from a high society woman to living with her sister in a small middle class house that puts her in a deeper mental depression. She tries to go back to school and date other men, but she cannot go through it because of her mental state. She messes up her relationships, and she just cannot adapt to a middle class lifestyle of blue collar office job while putting herself through interior design school.

None of these women got help for their deteriorating mental state. In Promising Young Woman, the main character’s mental state eventually leads to her death at the end of the movie. In Young Adult, the main character’s mental state leads to alcohol consumption, eating junk food at fast food, and sex addiction with other men to make up for the void in her life. In Blue Jasmine, the main character is seen mumbling to herself as she walks the streets, like a mentally ill homeless woman. 

If there were sequels for these movies, the Promising Young Woman sequel would be set in the cemetery, where she was laid to rest because she couldn’t move on after her college friend accidentally died. It would be interesting if the sequel would be the actual funeral, where all her friends and family talk about her. For Young Adult, the sequel would involve the main character in rehab for alcoholism, as she works on losing weight because she is now fat, and no man wants to satisfy her sex addiction anymore. She eventually writes her own memoir about her mental breakdown to help other depressed women become independent and live their own life. Her book becomes a bestseller, which leads to her meeting the right man. For Blue Jasmine, the sequel would start with Jasmine living as a bag lady, walking the streets, eating through people’s leftover food on cafe tables, and muttering to herself. She occasionally stays at shelters and YMCA when the weather becomes cold outside, and a priest or nun gives her religion to help her turn her life around, which she eventually becomes a Social Worker to help other displaced women in society. 


What do you think?

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