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Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

A painfully realistic coming-of-age tale

Comedy, Drama

7.3

movie

United States, United States of America

English, Hungarian

Character-driven, Dark, Depressing

1995

Todd Solondz

Angela Pietropinto, Bill Buell, Brendan Sexton III

88 min

Synopsis

An unattractive 7th grader struggles to cope with suburban life as the middle child with inattentive parents and bullies at school.

Our Take

7.3
Renee Cuisia

Welcome to the Dollhouse tells the story of Dawn, an unpopular seventh-grader mercilessly bullied at school and ignored at home. Her day-to-day is painful to watch; her classmates make fun of her, her teachers never believe her, and her parents punish her, blatantly favoring her other siblings over her. But all this she puts up with, as if going through the murky in-between stage that is adolescence isn’t confusing enough. Dawn finds no respite elsewhere, except perhaps in her friend Ralphy (another target of bullying) and her crush, the high schooler Steve.  

A Sundance jury winner back in ’96, Welcome to the Dollhouse is as darkly funny as it is grim. It takes on a deadpan approach in handling its more serious topics; it doesn’t make fun of them so much as it shines them in a new and blinding light. It’s difficult to look away from this frank and well-balanced film; a sure good watch for anyone curious to know what it’s really like to be a teenage loner.

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