Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dark Horse

"We have central heating and a/c. What more could you ask for?"
An overweight man approaching middle age (Jordan Gelber) lives at home with his parents (Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow) and in the looming shadow of his younger, successful doctor brother (Justin Bartha), works for his disapproving father, vigorously collects toys, and drives a decked out Hummer, which impresses no one but himself. He begins dating a  beautiful, drugged out, severely depressed woman (Selma Blair) which is certain to spell even more misery while fantasizing about a former, older coworker (Donna Murphy. Todd Solondz's "Dark Horse" is another savagely funny, but deeply empathetic film, where he continues to lambaste an artificial modern American culture and one that personally hits home in more ways than one. Not everything works in the film. I felt the more fantastical elements could have been eliminated entirely, but mostly Solondz hits the nail on head while eliciting a tremendous performance from Gelber. Also, the ending strikes a particularly emotional chord.