A known distortion of perspective, identity and memory in the human body can be the work of the drug, Adderall. Abused serious psychotic episodes can occur. More so a mind-boggling distortion between fact and fiction. A successful novelist Stephen Elliott (James Franco) shares his journey of fame under the spell of a debilitating drug in The Adderall Diaries.
Renown author Stephen Elliott collaborates with filmmaker Pamela Romanowsky to bring about the storyline of a novel he wrote over fifteen years earlier called "A Life Without Consequences".
One must keep in mind that the real Stephen Elliott shares nothing in common with his fictional film character Stephen Elliott except their name and the two are writers. The Adderall Diaries is not a true story. Nor is it about the real modern-day author mentioned above.
The collaboration between Romanowsky and Elliott to write the screenplay for his novel allowed them the opportunity to talk about memory, perception and identity with a variety of people. This exercise amazed Romanowsky at the willingness of their friends, as well as, strangers to share deep personal stories on the subject and also their fears. "It's not a film for everyone, but for those who see something of themselves in it, the resonation can be deep,” says filmmaker Pamela Romanowsky.
Stephen Elliott, a successful novelist is on a book tour reading his latest memoir "A Part", to high-society groups. His non-fiction material has his audience spellbound. Elliott's estranged father, Neil (Ed Harris) attends one of the readings. He is appalled at the notion that his son is turning fact into fiction and lying to his audience. Fiction: His father is dead. Fact: His father is alive, well and present. Neil disrupts the reading and calls Elliott out on his misgivings. Neil adds that the audience is foolish for putting his lying son on a pedestal. He storms out of the room. Leaving Elliott to answer for his actions.
The embarrassing encounter shatters Elliott's world of fame to the point his publisher threatens to cancel a new million-dollar book deal. A career now in jeopardy, Elliott scapegoats Neil for his trouble and even blames him for his current writer’s block. To escape from reality Elliott is drawn to three areas of indulgence: 1) his drug of choice, 2) female companionship who inflicts as much pain as he can handle, and 3) an obsession with a high-profile murder case intensely searching for its fact from fiction.
All three choices of escapism bring him harm and force Elliott to come to terms with the facts of his past and the reality of his present. A personal journey of self-discovery that Neil Elliott initiates when he tries to connect with his son to give him a message of hope. Elliott's revengeful refusal to accept his father's help changes his life forever.