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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

Emmanuelle Chriqui, Adam Hann-Byrd, and Heather Matarazzo also filmed scenes that were cut from the film. See more »

Goofs

The positions of Scooby's hands when he is holding the gun change between shots. See more »

Quotes

Catherine: It was confessional, yet dishonest. Jane pretends to be horrified by the sexuality that she in fact fetishizes. She subsumes herself to the myth of black male potency, but then doesn't follow through. She thinks she 'respects Afro-Americans,' she thinks they're 'cool,' 'exotic,' what a notch he 'd make in her belt, but, of course, it all comes down to mandingo cliché, and he calls her on it. In classic racist tradition she demonizes, then runs for cover. But then, how could she behave otherwise...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The orange square over the sex scene was placed there to get an "R" rating instead of an "NC-17". See more »

Connections

Spoofs American Beauty (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Ooh.... Aah
Performed by Jakki O
Written by Barry White, Fleming Williams, Jackie Milligan
Published by Seven Songs and Me-Benish Music
Administered by Schroeder International LLC
Used by Permission, International Copyright Secured Courtesy of
Original Sound Record Co., Inc.
by Arrangement with Celebrity Licensing, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The "Non-fiction" story is the superior fiction.
6 January 2003 | by stefan-144See all my reviews

I was fascinated by Todd Solondz's HAPPINESS, a spell-binding drama every minute of it - sometimes terribly naked. There are such tendencies also in STORYTELLING, but only in the second of the two independent parts.

The first part, called "Fiction", is significantly shorter than part two, "Non-fiction". This is as it should be, but the best would be to exclude it completely. The story about emotional tension between a college girl with ambition to become a writer, her frustrated CP boyfriend and their impressive/monstrous teacher, the successful writer, is just as conventional as the stories the students write in the film. This may be intentional, to cause multiple layers of meta-effects, but it doesn't save this part of the movie from being pretty predictable and boring.

And the story ends before it should. A sort of coitus interruptus (if the term is allowed), which demands some kind of return or closing-up later on in the movie - but there is none. I got the strong impression that this part was only included to make the movie full-time.

The second story, "Non-fiction", is clearly stronger, and told with much more passion from the writer/director. Here, many facets are explored, the characters are complex, the drama intricate - and the tension builds, right below the drab suburban surface. It is impressive how elements common in just about any family life, here add to the suspense and the sense of doom. The thrill of trivial life, but not at all trivially portrayed.

This might be the reason for the title "Non-fiction", since the lives and fates shown in the story feel so real - contrary to what happens in "Fiction".

Still, this story, too, has been told insufficiently, as if abbreviated, or halted at points where it was about to erupt into infernal drama. Pity. Did Solondz retreat from his own vision? Did he censor himself to get more of a general audience?

I hope that it's not the case. His portrayal of human life, although unpleasant indeed, is fascinating and uniquely his. So he must be true to it.


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