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Welcome to the Dollhouse

Comedy movie directed by Todd Solondz

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Welcome To The Dollhouse - 1995

  • Sep 1, 2008
Rating:
+3
Pros:

Heather Matarazzo, script, directing



Cons:

none obvious



The Bottom Line:

“Come into my dollhouse
Fill my empty heart
Without you I'm a catatonic fool
Sitting in the dark” ~

Jill Wisoff



I can’t imagine anything as miserable as 7th grade. Especially if you are less than attractive, your family is filled with unfeeling parents, a nerdy brother, and ‘the perfect daughter’. Add to that, a last name of Weiner, you are going to be the brunt of jokes forever. This is the life of Dawn Weiner.

Dawn wants desperately to be accepted but, let’s face it, people in her peer group at that age are particularly vile. I don’t know why, but it seems to be true in all schools everywhere. At home she is surrounded by even more misery. Her parents dote on her younger sister who, frankly, looks like she was adopted into the family. She is the perfect size, the perfect looks, and she cavorts around in her little ballerina costume throughout the movie. She never does anything wrong, at least in her parents eyes.

Dawn’s brother, Mark, offers her no support and finds favor with the parents as well. In truth, Dawn is suffering from ‘middle child syndrome’ and it isn’t pretty. Her sole friend is a neighbor boy that borders on being a homosexual. They find solace in meeting in their backyard hangout, named the ‘Special People’s Club’, and hash out their miserable lives.


Then Mark has the opportunity to introduce a fairly talented person into his miserable garage band. Steven appears as the golden boy, practically sporting a halo for the love deprived Dawn. She sets her sights on this glorious hunk of human flesh but, please, get a clue Dawn. Her main nemesis at school is a bully, Brandon, who makes her life miserable. However, as with most bullies, he has hidden issues of his own which are introduced and investigated.


In the middle of it all, Missy, the perfect daughter, is abducted. As is true with most families, the abduction tears the family apart instead of cementing it together. Add the fact that Dawn is sort of the reason for the abduction, it is even harder for her to take.


This was another story written and directed by Todd Solondz. It is a painful introduction into the cruelty that is prevalent everywhere in childhood and how it affects those involved. The parents are completely oblivious to the pain Dawn is suffering, as well as her teachers. Her brother all but ignores her presence and Missy, the perfect one, seals the deal. It also investigates what a small bit of kindness can do to help people, especially children, get through their daily lives.


Dawn, played by Heather Matarazzo, was incredibly talented in this release. She drew all the empathy you could offer for a child in similar situations. Her own range of emotions was remarkable for someone of her age.

Welcome To The Dollhouse carries an R rating for language. It was nominated for 15 awards, winning four. It is a strong movie with painful situations.


Thanks,
Susi



Recommended:
Yes

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More Welcome to the Dollhouse reviews
review by . September 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    Todd Solondz's "Welcome to the Dollhouse" recalls the sad, desolate, lonely days of adolescence; particularly within the Middle School days of our lives, also known as Junior High. I know that those days, as well as the High School days, seemed painful and long. They must have been the same for Solondz, as he seems to have made the film out of personal disgust for the lowest members of youthful humanity; he appears to be gnashing his teeth, although through …
review by . July 19, 2010
My days at school were not as cruel as Dawns. “Welcome to the Doll House” is a dark comedy by the genius Todd Solondz.  I personally find him to be one of the great directors of our time. The reason why I love this film so much is because of the dark comedy. “Welcome to the Doll House” is a film that brutally pins the main character against everyone. Poor Dawn has really become the punch line of this whole film. There are moments where you just feel bad for her, but …
review by . June 18, 2009
Scariest-Movie-Ever
The Exorcist?  Alien?  Signs?  Those movies can wet themselves at this film which is a true real life horror movie with a very identifiable monster we all have faced.  That monster is middle school.      The film centers on an unpopular middle child named Dawn Wiener who gets the not so affectionate nickname "Wiener Dog" by her peers.  Her older brother is in highschool and has his own garage band and her little sister is a cutesy putesy ballerina …
review by . January 09, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Todd Solondz does it again and for a reason. We're introduce to Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo), an awkward seventh grader who is put down by her peers because of her physical appearance. The taunting Dawn endures is extreme and does not come across as even slightly reminiscent of anything that happened in my high school, but this fact does not take away from the empathy we feel for her as she struggles through her daily life. As if school weren't bad enough, Dawn's home life doesn't leave much …
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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie

Wiki

Todd Solondz's WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE follows the painful daily trials of Dawn "Wienerdog" Wiener (Heather Matarazzo), an awkward, nerdy 12-year-old. The middle child between her geeky older brother, Mark (Matthew Faber), and her sickeningly sweet little sister, Missy (Daria Kalinina), Dawn has a rough time with her family and everything else, including school and boys. She's obsessed with Mark's hunky bandmate, Steve (Eric Mabius), but the only guy who pays her any attention is the local thug, Brandon (Brendan Sexton III), who constantly threatens her with rape. <br> <br> With startling accuracy and humor, Solondz captures the hell known as junior high in his blow-by-blow account of Dawn's difficult life. One of the darkest and funniest tales of adolescence ever filmed, DOLLHOUSE serves as a grateful reminder that puberty strikes only once.
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Details

Director: Todd Solondz
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: May 24, 1996
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Todd Solondz
DVD Release Date: March 08, 1999
Runtime: 1hr 27min
Studio: Sony Pictures
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