Thursday, July 30, 2009

Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

"Welcome to the Dollhouse" is a dark comedy about an awkward teenage girl who does not fit in.  Heather Matarazzo plays the nerdy loner named Dawn.  Dawn gets picked on at school constantly, most notably by a boy named Brandon.  Brandon plans to rape Dawn, but he changes his mind when the opportunity comes.  Brandon reveals to Dawn that he has a retarded brother and Dawn starts to feel something for him.  They start to hang out, but it all ends when Dawn says she is in love with another man.  Dawn is in love with the lead singer of her brother's band.  Even though the singer and Dawn talk once in a while, there is really nothing there.  Dawn just has a crush on him and when she catches him with another woman, she realizes the mistake she made with Brandon.  

With all of these problems of love and school, Dawn is also having family issues.  The family favors their beautiful younger daughter and Dawn is very jealous.  One night, Dawn was supposed to notify a neighbor to pick up her little sister from ballet practice.  Dawn did not.  The result was the kidnapping of the little girl.  The family goes crazy trying to find the girl and it is all Dawn's fault.  

"Welcome to the Dollhouse" is a strange movie, but for some reason it is fascinating to watch.  Matarazzo's acting isn't the best, but it works.  She looks awkward and her slow delivery helps show how weird and strange her character really is.  

Believe it or not, "Welcome to the Dollhouse" is a very realistic way to look at middle school.  Even though the scenarios are exaggerated, the themes are real.  Children at this age have strange thoughts of love, issues with being picked on at school, and it is a time when children are rebellious against their family.  This is a strange film that everyone can relate to in one way or another.

B  I recommend it.

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