Dark Horse

For his next trick, writer-director Todd Solondz provides this portrait of a tubby 35-year-old loser (Jordan Gelber), still living with his parents (Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow), nursing malaise, collecting action figures, and blasting too-peppy pop from behind the wheel of his yellow Hummer. Even his occasional fantasies seem aggressively banal, but at least there’s the overmedicated depressive (Selma Blair) who agrees to marry him out of surrendered self-respect. It’s neither as misanthropic nor as laugh-out-loud funny as it might sound, and that’s to the filmmaker’s credit. Solondz tempers his tone, allowing for something natural — if also unfortunate and irresolute — to emerge from the pairing of Gelber’s shrewd ingenuousness with Blair’s inherent poutiness. It’s a modest effort, all the more lifelike for its nagging lack of fulfillment.

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