Welcome to the Dollhouse - * * 1/2*

How many of you would jump at the chance to relive junior high? Well, here’s your chance…complete with all the aches and pains, the humiliation and utter frustration, all bundled into one 93-minute film. Heather Matarazzo stars as Dawn Wiener, a seventh grader at Ben Franklin Jr. High. Not just any 7th grader, but a dorky and hugely unpopular 7th grader (with a rather unfortunate last name, I might add). The film is mostly a portrait of her life and her unsuccessful attempts to gain friends and become popular. Unfortunately the film is so apt, its cruelties are painful to watch. You have to take solace in the well defined characters, and pity their miserable existence in the hell called junior high. There’s not much of a defined plot to Welcome to the Dollhouse, just a series of encounters as Dawn writhes about under torture. Yet, it is a well done film…your enjoyment will depend purely on how closely your school experience mirrored Dawn’s, and whether you want to relive it.

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