Dark Horse (2011)

129.

★★★

Directed by: Todd Solondz
Written by: Todd Solondz
Starring: Jordan Gelber, Selma Blair and Christopher Walken

Underachieving 30 somethings who still live with their parents and pathetically pursue women with the moves of a socially awkward teen have proven to be good fodder for comedy. When such a character shows up in a Todd Solondz movie, however, he is not what you might expect. Void of any likeable qualities, Dark Horse‘s central character, Abe (Gelber), pushes the limits of our tolerance with his self-absorbed, delusional behavior and strangely surreal states of mind. This painful portrayal of suburbia is nothing new to Todd Solondz whose Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness were indie triumphs covering similar areas. But even in the midst of the cruel, dark humor that characterizes Dark Horse, there is a deeply felt sense of hope and warmth that comes as a surprising result of watching an obnoxious man try to get everything he wants. Never predictable and constantly shifting between realities and different shades of emotion, Solondz treads an emotional landscape that is difficult for us to fully embrace, but also impossible for us to abandon completely.

The depressed leading the depressed.

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