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Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 24 May 1996 (USA)
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An unattractive seventh grader struggles to cope with inattentive parents, snobbish classmates, a smart older brother, an attractive younger sister and her own insecurities in suburban New Jersey.

Director:

Todd Solondz

Writer:

Todd Solondz
4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Heather Matarazzo ... Dawn Wiener
Victoria Davis Victoria Davis ... Lolita
Christina Brucato ... Cookie
Christina Vidal ... Cynthia
Siri Howard Siri Howard ... Chrissy
Brendan Sexton III ... Brandon McCarthy (as Brendan Sexton Jr.)
Telly Pontidis Telly Pontidis ... Jed
Herbie Duarte Herbie Duarte ... Lance
Scott Coogan Scott Coogan ... Troy
Daria Kalinina ... Missy Wiener
Matthew Faber ... Mark Wiener
Josiah Trager Josiah Trager ... Kenny
Ken Leung ... Barry
Dimitri DeFresco Dimitri DeFresco ... Ralphy (as Dimitri Iervolino)
Rica Martens Rica Martens ... Mrs. Grissom
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Storyline

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.... Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Not all girls want to play with dolls.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 May 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Faggots and Retards See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,813,000, 19 July 1996

Gross USA:

$4,771,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Suburban Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A group of cheerleaders ask Dawn if she's a lesbian. Heather Matarazzo, who plays Dawn, is a lesbian in real life. See more »

Goofs

In the principal's PA address he says, "Good morning, students..." but the clock next to the speaker shows the time as 12:30. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Weiner: Dawn, you do not leave this table until you tell your sister that you love her!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in New York at the Movies (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Nutcracker Suite
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (as Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky)
Courtesy of Eclipse Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
painfully true examination of the horror that is childhood
30 July 2005 | by cheroldSee all my reviews

Grimly convincing portrayal of life in junior high school for the unpopular. If you aren't blown away by how realistic this is then you weren't unpopular enough: this is the real deal.

This movie strips away the rosy patina of nostalgia that covers most other films that portray the grim nature of childhood. I admire the film for avoiding the common trap of making the lead an innocent victim. Heather is, when the opportunity arises, just as cruel as anyone else in the film. The movie doesn't make Heather a child, but instead makes her a confused human being full of conflicting emotions such as hatred, lust, anguish and guilt.

I think to understand this movie though, you need to realize that you are viewing everything from Heather's point of view. Teachers and parents are ridiculously unfair, classmates are alarmingly sadistic, and you could point at some action and say, oh, I doubt that would happen, but there's a strong emotional truth; this is what it feels like to be an unhappy child.

When I watch movies about unpopular kids, I am always disappointed because their lives are better than mine was, and this is the first movie I could point to and say, if you want to see what I was dealing with in Junior High, watch Dollhouse. But while I always wanted a movie that shows the unvarnished truth, it is really difficult to watch. Although if you can make it through the first half hour it gets just a shade less horrific. And it does have a quirky sense of humor that lightens it some. I avoided this movie for years because I was afraid it would be too painful, and a friend said no, it's not that painful, and she was sort of right and sort of wrong. But it's definitely worth seeing.


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