Welcome to the Dollhouse

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Released 1995

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Movie Summary

Director:
Todd Solondz
Released:
1995
Rating:
R
Welcome to the Dollhouse is an independent 1995 coming-of-age comedy about a nerdy girl in middle-class New Jersey. Twelve year old Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo) has the misfortune of beginning junior high wearing glasses and having only one friend, Ralphy (Dimitri Iervolino), an effeminate geek. With her older brother, Mark (Matthew Faber), already carrying the "King of the Nerds" title, Dawn soon becomes the target of school bullying with a nickname "Wienerdog" and the reputation of being a lesbian. Dawn finds no sympathy from her distracted parents, who only have interest in their youngest daughter, Missy (Daria Kalinina), a precious ballerina. Heather soon finds a bright light in her meager existence when aspiring rock star Steve Rodgers (Eric Mabius) joins her brother's band and Dawn begins a fervent if unlikely seduction of the 19-year old. Director Todd Solondz won the prestigious Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for this dark and funny take on girlhood trauma.

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    With a fine vengeance along with flashes of great, unexpected tenderness, Mr. Solondz lethally evokes every petty humiliation that his seventh-grade heroine can't wait to forget.

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    With his ability to understand and convey these absurdist scenarios in both adult and preteen terms, writer-director Solondz catches the unlooked-for humor in poignant, hurtful sit...

  • 90

    Variety Emanuel Levy

    Though lacking the sensationalistic elements of a movie like "Kids", Dollhouse offers unflinching realism, meticulous attention to detail and deliciously wicked humor as it explore...

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    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    Dark Comedy, Cult, Independent