Welcome to the Doll House

Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) Todd Solondz

Seventh-grade is no fun. Especially for Dawn Weiner when everyone at school calls you ‘Dog-Face’ or ‘Wiener-Dog.’ Not to mention if your older brother is ‘King of the Nerds’ and your younger sister is a cutesy ballerina who gets you in trouble but is your parents’ favorite. And that’s just the beginning–her life seems to be falling apart when she faces rejection from the older guy in her brother’s band that she has a crush on, her parents want to tear down her ‘Special People’s Club’ clubhouse, and her sister is abducted…. There is also Brandon McCarthy, a boy from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks who always threatens to rape her. That is the basic plot.

This was one of my favorite movies ever when I was young. I remember renting it on VHS at the local video shop. I feel for people who did not have that luxury. I could relate to this more then the superficial films like mean girls.Being a misunderstood teen is hard, especially with a dysfunctional family, and being bullied doesn’t help! Having crushes, rejection, sex,and dating is also scary. Being a teen is a quest of self discovery,finding your place in the world, and trying to be noticed, and loved. You experiment with friends, drugs, alcohol,sexuality, rebellion,and fashion. Dabbling in anorexia, bulimia, and suicide along the way. Oooh and threatening to run away.You are constantly learning the hard way from your mistakes. Music plays a huge part in being a teen, as does hanging at local record and coffee shops, and going to shows. Always with headphones on, I had my cassette Walkman at all times, followed by the cd Walkman later.The best part of being a teen is finding your inner style and dressing yourself, scoring your favorite pieces from local thrift stores. I wish I had more photos of all the crazy outfits I wore.There is also the singing in the mirror, playing dress up, getting ready for dates, and eating junk food. I am so glad I caught the tail end of being a teen before cell phones,  facebook, and computer dependency. You had hangout spots to meet up with friends. To learn about music you had to hang at record shops, use listening stations, and learn from older cool people. Anyways, if you haven’t seen this movie, rent it now, and re live your struggles as a teen like Dawn Wiener.

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