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Storytelling (2001)

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College and high school serve as the backdrop for two stories about dysfunction and personal turmoil.

Director:

Todd Solondz

Writer:

Todd Solondz
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Selma Blair ... Vi (segment "Fiction")
Leo Fitzpatrick ... Marcus (segment "Fiction")
Robert Wisdom ... Mr. Scott (segment "Fiction")
Maria Thayer ... Amy (segment "Fiction")
Angela Goethals ... Elli (segment "Fiction")
Devorah Rose ... Lucy (segment "Fiction")
Nancy Anne Ridder Nancy Anne Ridder ... Joyce (segment "Fiction")
Steve Rosen ... Ethan (segment "Fiction") (as Steven Rosen)
Aleksa Palladino ... Catherine (segment "Fiction")
Mary Lynn Rajskub ... Melinda (segment "Fiction")
Tina Holmes ... Sue (segment "Fiction")
Paul Giamatti ... Toby Oxman (segment "Non-Fiction")
Mike Schank Mike Schank ... Mike (segment "Non-Fiction")
Xander Berkeley ... Mr. DeMarco (segment "Non-Fiction")
Mark Webber ... Scooby Livingston (segment "Non-Fiction")
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Storyline

Storytelling is comprised of two separate stories set against the sadly comical terrain of college and high school, past and present. Following the paths of its young hopeful/ troubled characters, it explores issues of sex, race, celebrity and exploitation Written by Fine Line Features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 November 2001 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Todd Solondz Project See more »

Filming Locations:

New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$73,688, 27 January 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$912,442, 24 March 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Toby Oxman has a poster of the movie The Celebration (1998). See more »

Goofs

When the Livingstons are eating dinner, towards the end of the scene, Mikey's collar goes from inside his sweater to outside between shots. See more »

Quotes

Marty Livingston: I had a terrific time in college. I don't see why this is so hard for you to grasp? Why are you out to make college out to be a bad thing? A negative experience? YOU had a bad time? Well, too bad. Get over it. Stop trying to impose YOUR misery on everybody else. "Oh, life is bad. Life is horrible." Life is tough on you, well, boo-hoo.
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Alternate Versions

After "Storytelling" had been shown in Cannes, Todd Solondz re-edited the film. He removed five minutes from the second segment, and inserted five new minutes. See more »

Connections

References The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Fiction
Performed by Nathan Larson and Nina Persson
Written by Nathan Larson and Nina Persson
Published by The Music Of NATO and Stockholm Songs
Nathan Larson appears courtesy of Artemis Records
Nina Persson appears courtesy of Stockholm Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Solondz's talent shows, but needs more closure
17 August 2002 | by mattymatt4everSee all my reviews

"Storytelling" is interesting, dramatically effective and well-acted. It just left me wanting more. Those who were heavily turned off by Solondz's last effort, "Happiness," (a film I still regard as brilliant) might not be as turned off by "Storytelling." Other than an explicit anal sex scene (which is blocked off by a cheesy red box in the R-rated version), the material is quite innocuous. But "Happiness" not only had a provocative edge; it also had closure. It didn't leave any loose ends, having the audience wonder, "What's next?" This movie has Solondz's provocative edge, but it needs closure.

The characters and situations are colorful. I've always loved the director's use of brutal honesty in telling stories of otherwise straitlaced white collar suburbanites with skeletons in their closets. His films possess a unique realism that we almost never see in today's movies.

Selma Blair gives her best performance up to date, her first character role. There's a greatly powerful scene in which she's taunted, by her fellow classmates, about her short story which was based on a true situation between her and her tough-as-nails professor. John Goodman is terrific as the strict, suburban dad who simply wants his family to be normal. Leo Fitzpatrick is great as Blair's lonely boyfriend with a speech impediment. After seeing him in that awful movie, "Kids," it was great to see him in a decent role in a halfway decent movie. I'm guessing he really does have a speech impediment. The little boy got annoying at times. Though I know it was part of his character, there were times where I just wanted to put my foot through the TV when he would go on rambling. And the underrated Paul Giamatti delivers a fine, low-key performance as a geeky documentary filmmaker.

I wouldn't say this movie is anywhere near terrible, and I still look forward to Todd Solondz's next film, but it just needed more. It would've made a great television pilot, but for a film it would need a stronger narrative. In the second story, "Nonfiction," we get to know a fair deal about these characters, their backgrounds and their aftermaths. However, in the first story, "Fiction," I felt there could've been a lot more background to the characters and what happened after Vi's dreams were crushed after her fellow students gave their hypocritical opinions on her short story? As I said before, it's an interesting film, but not altogether satisfying.

My score: 6 (out of 10)


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