Rock bottom supercut: Montage of movie characters hitting their low point, from Citizen Kane to Anchorman (VIDEO).

What Hitting “Rock Bottom” Looks Like in the Movies

What Hitting “Rock Bottom” Looks Like in the Movies

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Slate's Culture Blog
March 3 2015 8:45 AM

What Hitting “Rock Bottom” Looks Like in the Movies

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Hollywood loves a dramatic downfall. The formula is as old as the movies: after a series of bad decisions and wrong turns, a protagonist reaches his or her most debilitated, wretched state—that is, they hit “rock bottom.” Sometimes that moment can be terrifying to witness, as it was in Requiem for a Dream, Drugstore Cowboy, and The Basketball Diaries. And yet this scene isn’t always such a downer: As Bridesmaids and Anchorman prove, it can also be mined for great comedy.

To honor the many different forms of cinematic existential crisis, we’ve put together a montage of some of the most memorable “rock bottom” moments in film. 

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.