‘Words on Bathroom Walls’ depicts mental health in an honest yet heartfelt way


“Words on Bathroom Walls” shows the vulnerable side of dealing with mental illness.

Faith Venenga

Editor’s note: This article contains information about mental illness. Sensitive content may follow.

Director Thor Freudenthal’s “Words on Bathroom Walls” doesn’t just show a story about high school students finding love, but also the struggles of living with mental illness.

Released into theaters Friday, the film has since garnered an 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes’ critic score and a 92 percent on the audience score. “Words on Bathroom Walls” is a film adaptation of author Julia Walton’s book of the same name. 

Through the actions of lead protagonist Adam (played by Charlie Plummer), he finds out his dreams of becoming a chef are complicated when he receives a schizophrenia diagnosis. It is only after growing close to another student Adam begins to see past his diagnosis to who he truly is.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes people to experience reality “abnormally.” Some, not all, of those affected with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations, delusions and abnormal behavior. All of these factors affect Adam’s life in different ways. 

Having Adam talk about his relatable problems throughout the movie gives viewers insight to what he and those around him are dealing with, as mental illness doesn’t just affect the person’s mind and life.

While this movie deals with serious topics, the star-studded cast is there to make sure the audience feels grounded. Appearances from Taylor Russell, known for playing Evelyn in “Falling Skies” (2015), AnnaSophia Robb, who has recently made appearances in “Little Fires Everywhere” (2020) and Devon Bostick, known primarily for his role as Rodrick in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series are featured throughout the film.

Movies that directly address themes of mental illness are few and far between. More films that address the more personal sides of mental illness should be more present in today’s media.

“Words on Bathroom Walls” is available at select theaters.

Final verdict: 8/10