You may be wondering what a narcissist is? You may have been experiencing narcissistic abuse. You wonder what other narcissists are like or how they behave - as there are common character traits. I thought what better way to show but by using films to explain it. I am often asked if I have seen any movies that show narcissistic personality disorder in action. The list is growing, but here are some to look up and watch. I have found that there are great benefits to watching a movie now that I have my Narc-glasses on. I see things differently and it helped me understand the pure evil they can be.
One of the (many) hardest challenges faced by the victim of a Narcissist is trying to explain what happened…
What happened to the person you fell in love with? Did you imagine that they were wonderful? Is it all in your head?
Whether it is a lover or a friend or a family member – although if it is a family member, like a parent, the relationship and process is different because it happens as you are developing – the pattern is the same.
One moment they were a dream come true, a Prince Charming, a Fair Damsel (who is always in distress but makes you feel heroic), an alluring Siren who only has eyes for you, a Venus or Adonis, a goddess or god who bestows their favours on you, a Casanova who seems as seduced by you as you are by them… and then suddenly, and it usually feels sudden even when it is a slowly creeping suddenness, they turn into an Ogre, a Witch, a vengeful god or goddess due to you displeasing them, and you are wrecked on the sharp rocks around them which you never saw or turned into a pig (Circe) who must now serve them, or the seducer leaves taking your heart with them and you will never get it back.
The fairytale dream turns into a sinister nightmare. A cautionary tale. This happens over and over again. They switch roles all the time, so the witch turns back into a good fairy, the Ogre turns back into a Prince… you’ve seen their real face, but now you’re confused, maybe it was an hallucination, maybe you’re crazy…
In your moment of despair and confusion you turn to others… and they reject you. Everything you tell them about your relationship and what you are experiencing, to them is all lies and fantasies which you are making up. They don’t get it, they don’t believe you, worse than that, they agree with the Narcissist that it is indeed all your fault and you are crazy and delusional. You are the Narcissist! I have a hard time grasping it because it is so illogical and the mind can only handle so much nonsense before it snaps and starts making sense out of the nonsense and making the illogical sound logical. Even now that I’ve broken my silence, I edit what I say.
Sometimes it’s easier to agree with everyone else that I’m the nutcase. Sometimes it is easier to retreat into silence and let everyone believe whatever they prefer to believe. The truth is hard to handle. I have a hard time handling it, why would I expect someone else, who has not had the experiences I have had, to be able to handle it, if I have a hard time handling it, and why do I think they could help me when I don’t even know what would help me. Just being believed for once, having my side of the story acknowledged as real, would be helpful… and it is.
I have seen Narcissists and relationships with them portrayed many times in film. One of the best was – Killing Bono. The lead is a Narcissist, and drags everyone along with him chasing his Narcissistic dream. However it is an outside view of it. And it has a happy ending where the Narcissist wins and is successful, and writes a book which is made into a film, and… so he gets away with it and gets the love he wants and everyone forgives him.
Here are a few more examples of narcissists portrayed in films:
Movie: The Devil Wears Prada Played By: Meryl Streep About: Now this is an NPD character that sticks with you.
Movie: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Played By: Kenneth Branagh About: This is the definition of narcissism. Lockhart is hilarious. One of the comical moments from the series is when Lockhart is talking to Harry during his detention and says “Fame is a fickle friend, Harry. Celebrity is as celebrity does. Remember that.” *turn and smile* He goes to such lengths as to fake his fame and risk the deaths of many students just to keep his ego fed.
Movie: American Psycho Played By: Christian Bale About: Bale plays the role with what appears to be ease. He’s a completely memorable character with some very iconic scenes.
MOVIE: Gaslight Played by: Charles Boyer ABOUT: This classic movie is where the term gaslighting comes from, to indicate how an N (or other abuser) lies to you to make you doubt your experience of reality. Although the film is a bit dated now (it was made in the 1940s) it is still extremely gripping and terrifying. The narcissist in this film, Gregory Anton, is trying to deliberately send his new wife insane in order to inherit from her. An absolute must-watch for anybody interest in learning more about malignant NPD.
MOVIE: White Oleander Played by: Michelle Pfeiffer ABOUT: Michelle Pfeiffer plays the narcissistic mother in this amazing film, and by all accounts does a terrific job
Gone Girl The wife has planned her escape building a web of crazy to frame her husband for her murder. She uses an old boyfriend and then kills him - this movie is an excellent and real reflection of the manipulation of a narcissist.
Fatal Attraction Glenn Close has a one night stand with a man and then stalks him. The movie shows the stalking angle very well. Warning she boils his family bunny. Its a classic thriller watch Glenn Close's behavior. Stalking, narcissistic rage, delusional.
Sleeping With The Enemy Julia Roberts has some big hair in this 1991 thriller. They seem to be the perfect couple... sound familiar? The husband is an abusive obsessed and controlling man - when you watch this you will really see how lucky you are.
Rain Man In Rain Man this classic movie with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise watch Tom Cruise's behavior towards his estranged brother. He is out for his inheritance and he doesn't care who he hurts He does turn around and there is a sweet ending.
The Devil Wears Prada Ann Hathaway works for Meryl Streep and she gets more than she bargained for as her life is turned upside down trying to please this crazy narcissist boss. A light and funny movie to watch.
Other movies portraying narcissistic characters
• American Beauty (narcissistic mother) • East of Eden (narcissistic father) • Ordinary People (narcissistic mother) • Mermaids (Cher as Mrs. Flax) • Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (narcissistic sister) • Sybil (narcissistic mother) • The Little Foxes (narcissistic mother) • Flowers in the Attic (narcissistic mother) • Matilda (both parents are narcissists) • Coraline (both “other” parents are narcissists) • Precious (narcissistic mother) • Girl Interrupted (Angelina Jolie) • Life or Something Like It (Angelina Jolie)
Do you know of any other films that have portrayed a narcissist? Let me know your suggestions.