Parents' Guide to

Inside the Rain

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Sex, swearing, suicide, sympathy in bipolar romcom.

Movie NR 2020 90 minutes
Inside the Rain Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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Fisher's feature debut isn't necessarily good, but it's definitely not bad -- and it's also of value. As society continues to realize the need to destigmatize mental health struggles, Inside the Rain is a step in the right direction. Viewers aren't meant to understand exactly what it's like to be bipolar -- it's more like seeing how a friend's bipolar diagnosis affects their life. We see Ben's inability to sleep, his insistence on having all his clothes dry-cleaned (he also has OCD), and how his abrupt way of interacting with others can be off-putting, but the film doesn't put us precisely in his shoes.

The film is different from what we're used to from media about the mental health field. Patients in the psychiatric ward aren't incoherent or totally zoned out -- they're just trying to get a handle on what life handed them. Ben's suicide attempt isn't played for tears or sympathy; it's just something he'll come to regret. Rosie Perez co-stars as Dr. Holloway, who's like the Willy Wonka of psychiatrists: With a glint her eye, she gets results by being real. And whether or not Ben heeds her advice is up to him, but if he can use the guidance to make better choices, he'll get the keys to a better life. That said, he ignores her advice when it comes to spending time with Emma (Ellen Toland), an erotica model who dabbles in porn. Emma allows Ben into her life after he expresses interest in casting her in his film. While a college student struggling with mental health diagnoses and a porn actress might seem to have little in common, they both live without shame or embarrassment for their situations. What they both crave is what the film provides: They want to be taken seriously for who they are and what they want to achieve, not limited by the labels society so easily slaps on them.

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