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Dark Horse [Blu-Ray]

Todd Solondz

Dark Horse [Blu-Ray]
6
Having solidified himself as the caustic voice of anti-American sentiment, cinematically tearing down any notion of the American dream that suggests individual happiness, specialness or wish fulfillment ideation, it's no surprise that his take on the romantic comedy would be so unrelentingly bleak. In structure, Dark Horse follows the male fantasy formula of dream girl entitlement, with obese loser Abe (Jordan Gelber) trying to woo the depressive, but beautiful Miranda (Selma Blair) with promises of domestic bliss. Where most films of this nature would establish an unlikely connection between the two, giving her a new sense of purpose and him motivation to escape pity employment from his father (Christopher Walken), Solondz takes a more realistic approach. When Miranda decides to make a go of dating the gullible and exploitable mess of a man, she uses the following justification: "I should stop trying to slit my wrists, — give up on a literary career, give up on hope, ambition, success, independence, self-respect. I should just get married and have children." Saying this to his face, she sets the tone for the film, noting that, yes, you can superficially obtain delusional dreams, but, much like the infectious pop music littering the soundtrack, it's just gussied up emptiness and lies. Though set up as a dark comedy, the trajectory of this acerbic critique of American fantasy ideology is one of tragedy, noting that the more Abe tries to escape his destiny as a fat, poor, lonely loser the more he's forced to suffer at the hands of an uncaring, self-involved world. He winds up contracting Hepatitis B and continually winds up being hurt and denigrated by everyone around him. At the end of it all, the only lesson learned is that there is no happy ending and no one cares about your unique specialness, which is a clear enough message not to warrant any supplemental material on the Blu-Ray. (Mongrel Media)
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