"Dawn, you are not leaving this table until you tell your sister that you love her!"
- Mrs. Wiener (Angela Pietropinto) to Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo)
"Do you think about girls'"--Dawn to her brother Mark "What' Are you kidding' I want to get into a good school."
- Mark Wiener (Matthew Faber)
"High school's better than junior high. They call you names, but not as much to your face."
- Mark to Dawn
"Well, Steve is horny."--Mark "How horny'"--Dawn "He'd go out with anyone as long as it was a girl and willing."--Mark "You mean have intercourse'"--Dawn "Duh."
Premiere - 04/01/1996
"...Funny and uncannily well written..."
Rolling Stone - 06/13/1996
"...Solondz throws himself on the land mine of puberty with blunt honesty and bracing wit..."
USA Today - 05/24/1996
"...Accessible dark comedy....DOLLHOUSE is a near-perfect morsel..." -- 3 1/2 out of 4 stars
Entertainment Weekly - 06/07/1996
"...Wonderfully-funny-shading-into-brutal....Keen portraits..." -- Rating: A-
Variety - 09/18/1995
"...A stark, often funny and always poignant comedy....Solondz challenges in a tough, straightforward manner some of the most prevalent family values in our culture..."
Film Comment - 03/01/1996
"...A winning, confidently handled, seriocomic coming of age tale..."
New York Times - 05/24/1996
"...Mordantly hilarious....A brilliantly malevolent treat..."
Los Angeles Times - 01/29/1996
"...Highly original....Both funny and poignant..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 06/14/1996
"...It's a funny, intensely entertaining film....[Solondz] shows the kind of unrelenting attention to detail that is the key to satire..."
Sight and Sound - 12/01/2005
"It's Solondz's acute observations that impress most: his rounded characters ring painfully true..."
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.
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.
The horrors of junior high are vividly recreated in this darkly comic tale of a painfully unhip seventh grade girl whose classmates' merciless taunting is only compounded by her dreary, middle-child home life. A hilarious, bittersweet black comedy from Todd Solondz, director of HAPPINESS, an equally bleak tale of the underbelly of grown-up American suburbia.
Black Comedy |
Campus Life |
Character Study |
Coming Of Age |
Family Interaction |
WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE was screened at the 1995 Toronto Film Festival.
Shot on location in West Caldwell, New Jersey.
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival.
The film won the CICAE (International Confederation of Art Cinemas) Jury prize at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival.
One of Solondz's previous short films, HOW I BECAME A LEADING ARTISTIC FIGURE IN NEW YORK CITY'S EAST VILLAGE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE, was aired on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.