Saturday, May 9, 2009

Welcome to the Dollhouse (1996) R - 3 Stars

Aka "Middle Child," I have my mixed emotions about this dark comedy about an adolescent girl going through puberty. The movie paints a realistic view of the pain felt growing up being the unpopular kid in school and at home. Everywhere she goes everyone humiliates her as she tries to smile her way through all the cruelty. However, it was hard to see humor in a teenage girl being threatened with rape or her sister's kidnapping. Don't take the movie too literal and remember you are looking through Dawn's eyes as she sees the people in the world around her.

Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo), is at that awkward age of 13, growing up in New Jersey where the kids at school have come to know her as "Wienerdog." Dawn just can't seem to get a break, even in her home life where she must watch her parents, Mrs. Wiener (Angela Pietropinto), and Mr. Wiener (Bill Buell), make over her irritatingly cute younger sister Missy (Daria Kalinina) and her geekish bookworm older brother Mark (Matthew Faber). When Mark strikes up a band with Steve (Eric Mabius), your typical rock band looking guitarist, Dawn immediately develops a crush for him as he's cool and she's not. Along with her sister's kidnapping and the mean boy at school, Brandon (Brendan Sexton), threatening to rape her, she painfully struggles to get through adolescence.


1996 - Welcome to the Dollhouse - Independent Spirit Awards - Best Debut Performance
1996 - Welcome to the Dollhouse - Sundance Film Festival - Grand Jury Prize - Dramatic

Suburban Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Todd Solondz
Writer: Todd Solondz
Producer: Todd Solondz
I viewed 4/09

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