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Highbrow book critics weren’t blown away by Elizabeth Wurtzel’s 1994 memoir “Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America”--some characterized the former New Yorker pop critic’s prose as “self-pitying”--but the book struck a nerve, particularly with young women. One of them was actress Christina Ricci, 20, who will co-produce and star in a film version. “Prozac Nation,” like Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” and Susanna Kaysen’s “Girl, Interrupted,” chronicles a beautiful, intelligent young woman’s breakdown, suicide attempt and subsequent treatment for depression. Although Wurtzel describes her childhood and later her writing career in New York, the memoir focuses on her self-destructive undergrad years at Harvard--tales of casual sex and illicit drug use abound--when she became overwhelmed with depression and despair and was prescribed Prozac, which had only recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The film starts porduction in May.


Helen Fielding’s frothy 1998 novel “Bridget Jones’s Diary” will also be made into a feature film. American actress Renee Zellweger (“Jerry Maguire” and the upcoming Farrelly brothers comedy “Me, Myself and Irene”) has been cast as the British party/career girl, a sort of Holly Golightly-cum-Mary Tyler Moore, who is equally obsessed with her weight, men and finding a clean pair of black tights. Shooting begins next month on the film directed by first-timer Sharon Maguire.


Although the just-released black comedy “Drowning Mona” is screenwriter Peter Steinfeld’s first produced screenplay, he’d worked with co-star Neve Campbell before. In 1996 he was Campbell’s driver during the production of the supernatural teen thriller “The Craft.”