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nickperkins

Homework: Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

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I had to look hard to see if a picture of Todd Solondz smiling existed. Golly. Anyway, it has been a while since I've indulged in Welcome to the Dollhouse. I remember really liking this one, though.

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Went to a screening of Happiness about two weeks ago and loved it. Excited to visit this previous work.

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It's definitely the easiest Solondz film to watch, though I'm not sure if it's a "best". Least abrasive, maybe? Dawn Weiner is a terrific character that I think everyone can identify with. I enjoy Solondz a lot, because I don't think he ever mocks his characters or uses the incredibly difficult situations he puts them in to just shock. It's not exploitation, though it does ride a very fine line at times -- the one time he's probably failed is with the Scooby/Paul Giamatti stuff in Storytelling.

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I had to watch Happiness 5 times in a row while doing a final paper on this movie for a film class. Writing about this in a critique while refraining from giving my opinion proved more uncomfortable than the repeat viewings.

 

Welcome to the Dollhouse is pretty easy to watch by comparison.

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I was going to vote yes if it counts for anything now. I'd seen Happiness and Storytelling, but never Welcome to the Dollhouse. I vividly remember when this became a surprise hit in 1995. I was 13 and the marketing was all over MTV. When I watched it recently I had that strange feeling you get when you remember an actor that was close to your age when you were young, but then you see see them in that same movie 20 years later and realize they were JUST A BABY. Wow.

 

Heather Matarazzo was brilliantly cast, and I honestly think she has this unconventional beauty that's somehow easily covered up by those ugly glasses.

 

Love Todd Solondz. He's a master of this almost entirely unexplored area of comedy and gut-wrenching pathos. A lot of the teenage cruelty and shitty parenting came close to being hard to watch for me, but it's just too damn perfect and honest not to.

 

Great choice for the now dormant canon. It wasn't until I got involved in the conversation here that I realized I'd been unconsciously avoiding almost every female coming of age film. Now I feel like I need to catch myself up.

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I was ready to vote 'yes' also. Solondz calls his films "sad comedies." Very gut-wrenching. I haven't seen anything post-Storytelling. Heather M. grew up to be very pretty.

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