I know I’m super late to the party here, but I wanted to write a review of this film as it’s something I have quite mixed, yet strong, opinions on. I wasn’t yet blogging around the time this film released, so I unfortunately never got the chance to review it.. So, why not do it now?!
To start with, I want to make it clear this post may be slightly triggering to anyone suffering with an eating disorder or something similar. I’m going to be speaking about topics that appear in the film. which surrounds eating disorders, such as anorexia, binge eating disorder and bulimia. Continue to read at your own risk. I don’t want to damage anyone’s recovery journey at all, so please be careful.
As I made clear at the beginning of this post, I have very varied and mixed opinions on this film. I seem to be the same with the majority of eating disorder/mental health related films, actually. Whilst I feel it’s extremely important for these films to exist to raise awareness of mental health, I do believe there’s a certain way to go about it. Some parts of this film were unnecessarily triggering, in my opinion. I also feel the main character was intended to come across as ‘edgy’, which almost gave me the impression the illness was being romanticised/glamorised. ‘If you have anorexia, you’re cool’ is what sprung to mind.
Having said this, I honestly loved the film. I don’t know if this is because, as a sufferer myself, I ‘m naturally drawn to films about eating disorders. I also don’t know if I subconsciously see myself inside the main character – In fact, I know I definitely relate to the character. Many of her mannerisms are similar to mine, and maybe that’s why I like this film. It’s relatable to me, and helps make me feel less alone. However, it’s definitely important to note that during some of my relapses, I have used this film as a way to ‘trigger’ myself, which is extremely dangerous and hard/embarrassing for me to admit. I believe it can’t possibly just be me who has used the film in this way, and whilst it’s not necessarily the films fault, I do feel it’s the responsibility of the writers/directors to be really careful what they include in films surrounding such sensitive topics.
I’m also not a fan of the fact this film quite frankly romanticisied anorexia. The main character goes into a treatment facility and finds a guy she likes, and they shared a romantic bond together. WHY is this how almost every anorexia centred film goes?! Can we please stop portraying the idea that having anorexia makes you a delicate flower that will be saved by a boy? No. Having anorexia makes you poorly and destroys every part of you. It destroys those around you – your family, friends, EVERYONE. It is not romantic. It is not glamorous. It is a sickness. You are sick, and you need help. It’s not a cool, edgy personality trait. It’s a distraction from the deep emotional issues you are trying so hard not to deal with. You’d rather feel the pain of starving than the pain of everything else in your life. THAT is the reality of anorexia – not going to a treatment facility and falling in love with a cute boy.
Sorry, I got totally side tracked there. This film wasn’t all bad. It honestly did touch me quite deeply and I do feel it portrayed anorexia in a negative light too. It showed that this illness can and will kill you. It showed that no-one is ‘in control’ of their eating disorder, it is in fact in control of you. You will not get anywhere starving yourself. You’ll be miserable, hungry and cold. And then you’ll die.
Personally, I think these films do need to exist. I just wish they didn’t always have to have some kind of romantic connotation with them. It takes away from the true severity and danger of the illness.
What did you think of this film? Please let me know in the comments down below.