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  • Anvilicious: Very much so, but not necessarily in a bad way.
  • Award Snub: Ellen Burstyn's heartbreaking performance as Sara lost the Academy Award for Best Actress to... Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich. And the film didn't get a single other nomination, not even for Original Score, Cinematography, or Film Editing.
    • Regarding Burstyn losing to Roberts, you can chalk it up to Burstyn having won decades previously for Alice Doesnt Live Here Anymore, and Roberts being at the peak of her career and up til then unlauded for it. That's just how the Oscars work. The snubs of other categories, however, are outrageous.
      • Particularly the score in my opinion. I mean come on, how did this not merit at least a nomination?
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Used really oddly to highlight decidedly unawesome events.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Uncle Hank, better known as Ass to Ass guy.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The opening scene establishes Harry as being quite a Jerkass to his mom, Sara, but later in the first act subverts it by showing that he seems harsh sometimes, but he really does love and care about his mom and wants the best for her. Then the next two acts happen.
  • Memetic Mutation “So what're we gonna do now?” "Ass to ass." "ASS TO ASS!"
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The film's use of the "hip hop montage", a series of rapid cuts accompanied by sound effects, looks normal now, despite the fact that this was the film that popularised its use (Aronofsky previously used it in Pi.) This extends to the point where The Simpsons used a similar montage to show Homer's reaction to eating a McRib sandwich, which McDonald's themselves then copied for a bacon wrap ad.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: A viewer who agrees that Drugs Are Bad is likely to see it this way.
  • Tear Jerker: Special mention goes to Sara's monologue about growing old. Notice how the camera seems to move out of focus? It's because the lens was fogging up because the cameraman was tearing up.
    • The ending.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Then this film is a masterpiece.
  • The Woobie: Besides, you know, everyone, Sara in particular comes off as the most sympathetic, having never gotten involved with the drug trade and simply wanting to have something to live for again. She plays the most part of a victim, being neglected by her son and doctor and appearing generally unhappy and lonely even before It Gets Worse. Especially since she only wanted to lose weight and wasn't trying to get high in the first place.
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