Stutz is pretty good

A few months ago, I heard about a new Jonah Hill project where he interviewed his therapist, who's a unique guy that helped Jonah with a lot of break-throughs that could maybe help others too.

Usually I avoid vanity projects actors and directors do, because they're often so self-involved it's hard to tell if they're actually any good. But a few friends said this was good so the other night I gave it a try.

I was skeptical going in, but found it pretty easy to watch and the 90min flew by quickly. The best way I could describe the teachings of Phil Stutz is that it's almost all very good advice delivered with slightly odd packaging.

You see it early and often in the documentary, but the therapist has a bunch of his own jargon that he and Jonah use freely, then the viewer figures out what they mean later when they define the terms. I don't know why this rubs me the wrong way so much but it reminds me of any best-selling pop psychology books you'd see sold at an airport checkout. Everything in life is a "system" and common situations get a jargon term and a "foolproof approach" for how to solve them. It seems too neat and tidy, more like a business advice book than self-help.

If you can get past the cute jargon they use, there actually is some good advice buried within. I felt like I had two break-throughs of my own while watching this. Once, when they discussed exercise being absolutely essential and central to us being human instead of viewing it as helping with diet or weight, and later on when they discuss how to deal with devastating losses.

I've been in therapy for over a decade and struggled with depression my whole life and I wouldn't say this documentary is life-changing or the most incredible thing I've seen on the subject, but it definitely has its high points and is worth your time to watch. And if you're lucky maybe you'll get a few good takeaways too to help you think about things in a different light.