The Normals

Watch The Normals

  • NR
  • 2012
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 4.8  (220)

The Normals is a 2012 indie film directed by Kevin Patrick Connors. The film followa a small group of people with mental illness, who come together at a retreat center where they hope to find some solace and relief. Bryan Greenberg plays Caleb, who is grappling with his bipolar disorder and is looking for answers and stability. Cat Ascienzo is Anna, a young woman with depression and self-harm tendencies, while Mishka Balilty plays Shawn, a veteran who suffers from PTSD.

The main story arc of The Normals revolves around the connections that form between these three individuals. They bond over their shared experiences and struggles, and try to offer each other support and understanding. However, as they get to know each other better, they also uncover some of the darker aspects of their illnesses and personal histories. For example, Anna reveals that she was abused by her father as a child, while Shawn struggles with feelings of guilt and anger towards his superiors in the military.

One of the strengths of the film is its attempt to depict mental illness in a realistic and respectful way. The characters are not stereotypes or caricatures, but multi-dimensional individuals who are dealing with complex issues. The Normals doesn't shy away from showing the unglamorous side of mental illness, with scenes that feature self-harm, panic attacks, and suicidal ideation. However, the film also manages to balance out these heavier moments with moments of humor and camaraderie between the characters. It's clear that despite their pain, there is still hope for these people to find a way to move forward and connect with others.

In addition to the three main characters, The Normals also features a small but strong supporting cast. The retreat center is run by Dr. Holloway, a no-nonsense psychiatrist played by Peter Riegert. He's the straight man to the more volatile patients, and helps to provide some stability and guidance for them. Meanwhile, Caleb's sister Rachel, played by Jessie Ward, serves as a source of conflict for the protagonist. She wants him to come home and take his meds, while Caleb resents her for wanting to control him.

The film's visual style is fairly straightforward, with natural lighting and a generally muted color palette. However, the director does use some interesting editing techniques to convey the characters' internal experiences. For example, there are several sequences where we see Anna cutting herself, and the camera cuts abruptly to different angles and shots, creating a disorienting effect for the viewer. Similarly, there are a few moments where Caleb's bipolar disorder causes him to experience hallucinations or delusions, and these scenes are shot in a surreal and dreamlike style that conveys his state of mind.

Perhaps the strongest aspect of The Normals is its emphasis on community and mutual support. While each of the characters has their own individual struggles, it's clear that they are all in this together. They attend group therapy sessions together, share meals, and even have a group sing-along at one point. There's a sense of camaraderie that develops between them, and you get the sense that even though their time together is limited, they will always have this bond.

Overall, The Normals is a moving and honest portrayal of mental illness. While it might not be the most technically ambitious film out there, it more than makes up for it with its heart and humanity. If you're looking for a movie that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even learn something about yourself, this is definitely worth checking out.

The Normals is a 2012 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.8.

Where to Watch The Normals
The Normals is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent The Normals for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.8  (220)