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Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  24 May 1996 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 24,738 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 170 user | 70 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

Insightful look at an unattractive 7th grader as she struggles to cope with un-attentive parents, snobbish classmates, a smart older brother, an attractive younger sister, and her own insecurities.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Victoria Davis ...
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Siri Howard ...
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Brandon McCarthy (as Brendan Sexton Jr.)
Telly Pontidis ...
Jed
Herbie Duarte ...
Scott Coogan ...
Daria Kalinina ...
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Dimitri DeFresco ...
Ralphy (as Dimitri Iervolino)
Rica Martens ...
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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:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

24 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Faggots and Retards  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,813,000 (USA) (19 July 1996)

Gross:

$4,771,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Eric Mabius, who portrays Steve Rodgers. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Mrs Grissom accuses Dawn and Brandon of cheating, she says "Brendan" instead of Brandon. See more »

Quotes

Steve Rodgers: Special people?
Dawn Weiner: Yeah.
Steve Rodgers: Do you know what "special people" means?
Dawn Weiner: What?
Steve Rodgers: Special people equals retarded. Your club is for retards.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Dad!: The Shrink (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

The Hummingbird Anthem
Music and Lyrics by Jill Wisoff
Performed by Heather Matarazzo (uncredited) and The Hummingbirds
Courtesy of Fantasy Creature Productions (BMI)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
painfully true examination of the horror that is childhood
30 July 2005 | by (United States) – See 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.


70 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why did sarasong101
The way bullying is always portrayed in America. How realistic is it? Trimac20
Should I show this in class? syntheea118
This is the most disturbing film ever, FACT! Cremasterfan
Whats the purpose of her sister getting kidnapped? TOTALLYME718
The Ending = Great! jc_jo_chuck
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