6.0/10
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31 user 112 critic

Dark Horse (2011)

Not Rated | | Comedy , Drama | 29 June 2012 (UK)
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Romance blooms between two thirty-somethings in arrested development: an avid toy collector who is the dark horse of his family and a depressed woman on the rebound.

Director:

Todd Solondz

Writers:

Todd Solondz, Harold Manning (french adaptation)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melisa Young Melisa Young ... Wedding Singer
Jordan Gelber ... Abe
Selma Blair ... Miranda (formerly 'Vi')
Mia Farrow ... Phyllis
Christopher Walken ... Jackie
Zachary Booth ... Justin
Donna Murphy ... Marie
Tyler Maynard ... Jiminy
Mary Joy ... Lori
Peter McRobbie ... Arnie
Justin Bartha ... Richard
Aasif Mandvi ... Mahmoud
Di Quon ... Waitress
Lee Wilkof ... Phil
Tara-Lee Pollin Tara-Lee Pollin ... Dancing Bride
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Storyline

Abe Wertheimer - an odious, purposeless, self-centered 35-year-old living parasitically with his parents (by choice) and working in his dismayed father's business office (avoiding work while scoping eBay for collectible toys) - meets Miranda, an equally pathetic but self-loathing social dropout who, having given up on life, masochistically accepts Abe's sudden proposal of marriage for a knowingly grim future she won't fight against. Along with projecting his own faults onto his father, his own jealousy for lack of success and accomplishment onto his younger brother, and wallowing in the blind support of his mother, it's just another aspect of Abe's unsatisfying life that he just can't see to improve. A long-overdue decision finally spins his insignificant life out of control. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 June 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi novia ideal See more »

Filming Locations:

Edgewater, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,551, 10 June 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$940,430, 25 November 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Double Hope Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mia Farrow came out of retirement to appear in the film. This was mainly because her son was a fan of Todd Solondz's work. She committed to the movie without reading the script. See more »

Goofs

When Abe is sitting alone in the Multiplex Cinema, before the movie begins there is a Movie Star Scramble ("Unscramble The Letters And Name This Movie Star!") on the screen. The scrambled name reads, "ORGEOE LONEYCO" which Abe whispers is "George Clooney" but "ORGEOE" cannot be rearranged into "George". See more »

Quotes

Arnie: Well, you say you like the dark horse, then you throw a fit when they don't come through.
See more »

Connections

References Saturday Night Live (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Everything You Need
Performed by Kate Booye and Jon Estep
Written by Jon-Michael Estep
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A 'sad comedy' quote, unquote the director. Or in other words, a tragedy decorated by comedy.
16 October 2011 | by makru921See all my reviews

Being someone who has seen most of Todd Solonz's movies, you know what to expect from him. And you won't get disappointed. I had the opportunity to watch the Middle East premiere of Dark Horse at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. It was an even bigger experience to have Todd present during the screening, and give it an introduction as a 'sad comedy, where it's up to you to laugh or not'. I don't know how big an impact this particular statement had on my state of mind throughout the movie, but I cant help mentioning the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The story revolves around Abe, a thirty-something who works for his father, pampered by an extremely loving mother, having a highly accomplished doctor as his brother, and having a passion for collecting toys. When he meets Miranda, a strangely damaged soul going through some serious depression, he begins to think of getting out of his desperation by having her as a partner. They eventually enter into a seriously unstable relationship, where you even begin to question whether there really existed any element of a relationship between them.

The beauty of the movie lies in the director trying to portray the dark side of the unstable mind, through imagery. One of the scenes which really got to me is where Abe is supposedly in a toy store, demanding a refund for his fiancé whom he wants to return, insisting that he has a receipt which as the store staff points out has its date smudged out. Even though this scene is a figment of his fantasy, it really goes to show how Abe perceives things in life. A few other incidents involving the unseen affection Marie (secretary to Abe's father) has towards Abe, and Miranda's ex-boyfriend Mahmoud, all seemed to perfectly blend into the movie.

Needless to say, Christopher Walken played a strong part as Abe's father, so did all the other characters including Selma Blair as Miranda. However a big part of the movie's success lies in the solid performance by Jordan Gelber as Abe, who i felt was just apt for the role and did total justice to it.

Final verdict: A story involving a dysfunctional (or perhaps semi- functional) family, two out-of-the-normal characters and their seemingly unstable relationship, brilliantly presented in the form of a comedy - which makes you laugh and at the same time think about the appropriateness of laughing. Entertaining, and thought-provoking.


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