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Todd Solondz = Freak Show
2004-09-09 - 4:10 p.m.

This guy is really starting to creep me out.

I have now seen two films by Todd Solondz (Happiness, Welcome To The Dollhouse). I'm struggling to see where this guy has become some sort of media darling. Both of these films feature bits about rape (or attempted rape), pedophilia, and alienation. If these films are even the slightest bit autobiographical, then Solondz has what my wife would politely refer to as "issues".

Not only is the subject matter a little unsettling, both films seem to take a torturously long path to achieve...absolutely nothing. Or at least that's what it seems to me. You can argue that perhaps I'm missing the point, or at least a point. Or maybe there's not a point to miss.

IMDB talks about Solondz, pointing out that, like Kevin Smith, Solondz is proud of being from New Jersey. That kind of puts me off that there is even a remote comparison to Kevin Smith. Now Smith's films I enjoy, and they at least seem to tell a story.

Smith's Dogma is a story about reaffirmation of faith, wrapped in the cloak of a "road trip" movie.

Solondz's Welcome To The Dollhouse seems to be a story about the futility of living.

Call me a flaming traditionalist, but when I see a film, I tend to want to be entertained. I don't really want to spend two hours of my time watching a film that makes me feel that life is so meaningless that I should end it all right now. Not very uplifting, not very entertaining.

Years ago I went to the theatre to see Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, and I left that film wanting not only my money back, but I also wanted my two hours back. Now, after watching Solondz's ...Dollhouse last night, I not only want my 205 minutes back, I also want back the part of my soul that was taken.

Anyone who knows me, or perhaps has read more than two entries on this site, knows I'm fairly open-minded. And I also understand that art will sometimes be enjoyed by some folks, and not appreciated by other folks. For me, this one would be option B.

The scary bit is that it appears that Todd Solondz has made more than the two films that I have mentioned.

You have been warned.

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