The 24-year-old writer-director Monty Lapica makes an ill-advised stab at playing the 17-year-old version of himself in this autobiographical drama about a Las Vegas high-schooler with an alcohol addiction. His pill-popping mom begs God to save her son from his reckless ways. As it happens, Self-Medicated does concern an intervention—albeit not a divine one—in which Lapica (here called Andrew) is interred in the kind of rehab center that makes San Quentin look like Club Med. As a director, Lapica labors to affect a kind of stark, airless “realism,” yet long before Andrew’s eleventh-hour encounter with a homily-spouting homeless man, Self-Medicated reveals itself as a narcissistic fantasy about the misunderstood kid with a heart of gold who finally figures out how to get his shit together: Good Will Hunting with a side of Capracorn.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 21, 2007