Dark Horse

Dark Horse

Directed by: Todd Solondz
84 minutes

New England Premiere

Tired of endless Hollywood (and indie) tales of overgrown man-children who live with their parents, but are rescued by impossibly perfect women who see beyond their flaws? What you need is a strong dose of Todd Solondz (LIFE DURING WARTIME, IFFBoston 2010). In DARK HORSE, Solondz’s send-up of the recent arrested-development trend, the protagonist never fully redeems himself, and his love interest is every bit as screwed up as he is. As the line between fantasy and reality becomes increasingly indiscernible in the film, the protagonist’s nemesis—played with aplomb by The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi—delivers a scathing criticism of the genre while dressed as the manager of a big-box toy store.

Sad sack Abe works in his dad’s (Christopher Walken) real estate business and plays backgammon for cash with his mom (Mia Farrow). His one pleasure in life is his extensive toy collection, which he keeps in the room in which he grew up. When he meets Miranda (Selma Blair), he is inexplicably convinced he can win her over. But Miranda has problems of her own: a failed literary career, a steeply plummeting sense of self-worth, a disturbing dependence on her ex, and a contagious illness. Will they find true love? Or, more accurately, will they overcome their aversions for long enough to move into Abe’s parents’ house?

—Kristina Aikens