An unattractive 7th grader struggles to cope with suburban life as the middle child with inattentive parents and bullies at school.
People are voting emotionally.
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Fresh and Exciting
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There's no way I can possibly love it entirely but I just think its ridiculously bad, but enjoyable at the same time.
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The best films of this genre always show a path and provide a takeaway for being a better person.
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Matarazzo plays this prepubescent teen (excellently) who's the target of every possible social ordeal a teen-child could possibly be subjected to. The tone of the film is between pure caricature and strong realism, the events occurring are both totally exaggerated and genuinely ring true.So the movie is full of stuff happening, the weirdest (but still somehow realistic) stuff, does it while committing to good pace, and communicates its essence scene after scene with efficiency. The director makes it a point to establish clearly the goal and meaning of each section of the whole.Overall the cast is pretty spot-on, Matarazzo herself as Dawn, that young punk Brandon (who threatens her), her little sister and her annoying 'bitchy' face, the beautiful Steve of course... they had something very cohesive and efficient going on in this film generally.Strong 90's comedy: entertaining throughout, good actors with the right profiles, short and sweet, funny and with a number of social messages. 8/10.
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Right from the beginning, I thought, "Oh my god, the people that made Napoleon Dynamite" totally ripped this off!" I mean, the whole character of Napoleon, looks, affectations, everything, is just completely Dawn! What the? Even the brother seems to be the same ish! I know I might be late to the game, but is that even fair? I though N.D. was pretty cool, but now...As for the movie, well, junior high sucks, but for Dawn, it REALLY sucks! Heather Matarazzo plays her role perfectly, in this sad glimpse of teenage life. I felt so bad for her, all the way through. Sometimes, it was hard to watch, but there are moments of "lightheartedness" like the dancing sister, the awful cake, and cycloptian teacher! The end, end, is terrible, but this is a good movie, and the lyrics of "Welcome to the Dollhouse" are still rumbling around in my brain!
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"Welcome to the Dollhouse" is a feel-bad movie with little to make most viewers smile. It's depressing, awful and painful to watch. It's also incredibly insightful and incredibly well made.Heather Matarazzo stars as Dawn, a miserable kid who just began middle school. She's not particularly pretty, nor talented nor self- assured. The other kids are incredibly nasty and take full advantage of her insecurities, her teacher could use euthanizing and her mother is a complete jerk...and as a result Dawn is depressed and lost. The film follows her during part of the school year and by the end, her life still seems to suck...just as much as when the film began. So why do I give this miserable film an 8? Well, writer/director Todd Solondz really understands kids this age...and most Hollywood films completely get kids this age wrong! They usually make them too smart, too self-aware and too happy...which is great if you are a movie star but not reality. Here, however, Solondz explores what life can be like for kids who feel like outsiders...which is incredibly tough at that age. The only negative is that there really is no ending to this story...Dawn is still miserable, her mother still is a terrible parent and things look like it's just going to be more of the same. But wow...what an incredibly well made little film!
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"Are you a lesbian?" Teenager Dawn Weiner is greeted with these words after finally sitting down in the school cafeteria just minutes after starring open-mouthed for a table where she would be hopefully welcome. It is obvious that poor Dawn is the school reject, a dandelion among roses, or so the nasty cheerleaders who ask her this rude question choose to believe. After denying the question, a possible lesbian of years to come announces that Dawn had just come onto her and later will demand to watch her defecate in the school bathroom. This isn't a polite movie, and to put blame where it really should go, Dawn's treatment at the hand of these bullies is not helped by the adults in her life: her nasty teacher, the principal who believes he is trying to help her, and especially, her self-centered parents who baby her little sister while basically treating her equally as nasty as the students do.Mother (Angela Pietropinto) is the biggest culprit, always believing the worst about her, and emotionally abusing her every chance she gets. Anyone who has felt that their parents hated them simply because they misunderstood them will identify with Dawn here. She spoils the Jon Benet Ramsey look-alike Missy (Daria Kalinina) and belittles poor Dawn every chance she gets. Like a character out of a John Waters movie, Mrs. Weiner should go down in the hall of fame as one of the nastiest movie mothers ever. She makes Faye Dunaway's Joan Crawford look like Sally Field's M'Linn from "Steel Magnolias" in comparison.While it is understandable that she'd want Dawn to tear down the clubhouse she's built (it is after all an eyesore), the way she does it is without any type of sensitivity. Father (Bill Buell) isn't any better, maybe a bit quieter in his abuse, but still supportive of it. The only remotely likable member of the family is brother Mark (Matthew Faber), and he ain't any prize, either, totally selfish with his consumption of his rock band and desire for education, but perhaps it's because he can't wait to escape from his truly messed up family. Missy is one of those nightmare "Bad Seed" children, oh so pretty, oh so polite, but phony, phony, phony. While I wouldn't wish a fate which befalls her on any child, I can see why Dawn can't stand her.Dawn, herself, ain't totally without faults. She bullies herself, in this case, her only friend, a sixth grader who hangs out with her in the clubhouse, obviously desperate for a friend: any friend. After a scene with a bully (as Brendan Sexton Jr.) who has threatened to rape her, Dawn yells at this innocent kid, who has just offered her comfort, calling him a faggot. Heather Matarazzo gives a heartbreaking performance as the unfortunate Dawn, someone you are sure will either end up an ax murderess or a suicide victim. As for the character of Brandon, the bully who has threatened to rape Dawn, Sexton gives an insight to what makes a bully a bully. He obviously is curious about who Dawn really is underneath, yet can't help but treat her like crap when around their fellow students. But once alone with her, he reveals who he truly is, and this reminds me of junior high bullies I knew who actually became quite a different person when alone with me. Still no excuse, but an excellent insert into the screenplay to allow us to see the multiple dimensions of seemingly really horrid kids. Victoria Davis reminded me a lot of a young Jodie Foster, albeit one who needs to wake up and stop harassing other people for being something her character obviously is.The ending is a sad one, an insight into what is going to be in this character's life. Yes, there are moments where you can't help but laugh, and yet, still feel bad about the fact that you are indeed laughing. Bullying is, in fact, no laughing matter, but perhaps that is the intention of the writer and director to get us to see that while he wants us to laugh, he also wants us to think. In thinking about it, hopefully we will grow up and realize that humanity really needs to get away from the images it tries to project on children to be. Grow up, he says, Dawn Weiner could be you, your daughter, your sister, your best friend's kid. Time to wake up and smell the junior high school cafeteria mystery meat.