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
Unrated
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

A gulf in the attitudes of two men had a profound effect on the orphans' fortunes. One is stable and successful and the other had many scrapes with the law.
Thai (arrow), a film by Henry Kro, 37th out of 1190 films from 86 countries. Features 16 year old Karbi heroine Rengsajir P Killingpi, daughter of acclaimed Diphu martial artist
Prairie Miller discusses the beat poets, punk rock, Elijah's journey from Frodo to hero worship, Auden, Blake, McCarthyism, and the radicalization of Thomas
Lucy McBath reminisces about Jordan while discussing 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets, a documentary chronicling the trial of her son's killer.
A young victimized actor phones in from LA, to speak about An Open Secret, a documentary that exposes the child casting couch rampant in Hollywood
A desk-bound CIA analyst acts as the ears and eyes of Bradley Fine, a veteran spy. Used to seeing action through hidden cameras and listening devices, when the spy is killed, she takes over his job.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 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