6.9/10
16,338
131 user 106 critic

Storytelling (2001)

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1:48 | Trailer

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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

There was a third story, with James Van Der Beek as a college student realizing his sexuality, which was subsequently cut out of the film. See more »

Goofs

Length of Scooby's joint when he and Toby first meet. See more »

Quotes

Toby Oxman: Scooby. Scooby. Scooby. What are you thinking?
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

Featured in Beyond Clueless (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Want To Play Football
Performed by Belle & Sebastian
Written by Belle & Sebastian
Published by Sony ATV Music Publishing
Courtesy of Jeepster Recordings Limited & Matador Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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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