Solondz plays Ira Ellis, a wimpy aspiring playwright who worships (and rips off) Samuel Beckett.
Though Solondz fashionably blames the studio for this mess, and also disowns it, I’m not exactly sure where the studio could’ve come in to mess it up. Solondz blatantly channels Woody Allen, but like a bad Vegas entertainer…his glasses are larger, as is his hair, and he speaks in a stutter more reminiscent of a speech impediment than comedically heightened anxiety. None of the humor set-pieces drew any laughs, and the characters were all so broadly two dimensional as to make their continued presence tiresome. They’re all one-note bohemian minstrel show caricatures; the insane art girl, the clingy girl, the smooth operator painter with no actual talent. Solondz makes his two points(that artistically inclined, or at least hipster looking men, are drawn to the wrong women, and contemporary art is made up of kitschy posturing,) within minutes and then finds himself stuck having to fill another hour and ten minutes with nonsensical gag sequences and lazy stereotyping. He’s an angry hateful man with no compassion for anyone in the film; even his character is shown to be a posturing loser relying on rich parents. —Procrast-nation.com
Solondz’s first color film with sync sound was the short “Schatt’s Last Shot” (1985). Solondz played a high schooler who wants to get into Stanford, but cannot because his sadistic gym teacher fails him. He also has no luck seducing the girl he desires. It was a student film, and is still screened at NYU, where Solondz made it.
Solondz’s first feature was Fear, Anxiety & Depression (1989), a piece about a writer (Solondz) writing a play and sending it to Samuel Beckett.
Solondz found great critical acclaim with his second feature, Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), a film about the cruelty of junior high school, parents, adult figures, and suburban life. The film won awards at Sundance, Berlin, and countless other festivals for its cruel realism, bitter humor, and unflinching portrayal of adolescence.
His third feature effort, Happiness (1998), was a wildly edgy and provocative film. The film revolves around a group of people who are miserable in their conventional… read more
Here is a case where its legit for a talented filmmaker to not take their self so fucking seriously. Yes, I do love his other movies but Todd Solondz shows off his funny bone so well that I can't understand why he doesn't return to board comedy. Also, he does a great job as the poor man's Woody Allen to the point where I think he should have Woody Allen's career!