NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Dark Horse Movie Review: Love In The Time Of Hepatitis

By     get stories by email

In no way to be confused with any Long Island chamber of commerce promo, Todd Solondz's Dark Horse may do for LI's public image perception what his suburban noir Welcome To The Dollhouse encapsulated as goofy angst personifying Jersey. Somewhat of a sinister Mr. Hyde to Woody Allen's Dr Jekyll, counting personal appearance and inner sensibility in equal measure, Solondz taps into a pervasive suburban despair that could qualify as one of Dante's Circles of Hell, by way of the Long Island Expressway.

Jordan Gelber is Abe, the Dark Horse in question. A thirtysomething chubby lost soul existing in what has increasingly morphed into downscale suburbia, Abe has joined the ranks of its economically disaffected youth, clinging to his arrested development and still living at home with his parents.

dark horse
Miranda says to Abe "Don't leave me."
Photo: Todd Solondz Movie
More unhappily slacking than toiling at the company of his disparaging dad (Christopher Walken) and not in any way consoled by his supportive but glum mother (Mia Farrow), Abe impulsively makes a drastic bid at romance during a wedding reception. Hitting on terminally depressed wedding guest and perceived fellow loner Miranda (Selma Blair), Abe pursues his indifferent object of infatuation as his borderline stalker instincts feverishly kick in.

In an overmedicated daze and likewise still living at home with her parents, Miranda seems barely cognizant that she's accepted Abe's brash proposal of marriage on their first date, kind of hooking up in her childhood bedroom. Though a triangle of sorts looms in the loony couple's midst, and it's not exactly Miranda's ex-boyfriend Mahmoud from Dubai (Aasif Mandvi) with whom she still Skypes. Coming between the prenuptial pair is Hepatitis B, sending Abe into a doomed when not dangerous downer state of mind, factoring in tears and toothbrushes.

Filmed on Long Island by way of the Dominican Republic on occasion, Dark Horse is laced with refreshingly devilish humor and razor sharp one liners. And enhanced by the delightfully deranged comic timing of the cast, also counting Justin Bartha as Abe's envied physician brother. Along with Donna Murphy as the suspiciously schizoid company secretary covertly channeling Mae West, and possibly doing both father and son after hours.

But Dark Horse may be too dark for its own good, when lightening up might have been a better way to go. As Abe's elaborately murky fantasies begin to take over and compete with the increasingly dwarfed narrative. Until his hyperactive convoluted daydreams just about upstage everything else, and leave much too little to audience imagination.

Brainstorm Media
2 1/2 stars

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

This race hate documentary chronicles neo-Nazi relocation to Leith, a small town in North Dakota, and what the locals did to get rid of the supremacists.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Ben Vereen, about Time Out of Mind, his movie with Richard Gere, a film about the homeless struggling to survive.
A power-hungry ruthless assassin mobster wants to muscle-in on illegal Mafia rackets in the Italian North End. An intimidating, monster with no conscience.
Directed by Anne Fletcher, Hot Pursuit is a mindless diversion chock-full of the staples of the unlikely-buddies genre, like car chases, and accidental drug use.
Three big budget films. Paper Towns, Pixels and Southpaw. Teens saving a neighbor, retro-gamers saving the planet and a southpaw boxer saving himself.
A post-slavery purge of blacks resulted in a whitening of the Argentine population, as immigrants from Italy, France, Lebanon and Syria were welcomed.


NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month

Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

Copyright © 2004-2015 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site