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Storytelling (2002)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 89
Fresh: 47
Rotten: 42

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 28
Fresh: 15
Rotten: 13

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 8,858

Trailer


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Movie Info

Two stories set in two eras against the comical terrain of college and high school, past and present--exploring issues of sex, race, celebrity and exploitation. The first story: On a college campus in the mid-80s, a white female writing student has an emotional experience with her black, male writing teacher. The second story: In 2000, Toby Oxman is a 30-year-old wannabe celebrity and a documentary filmmaker. He sets out to document the Livingstons, an affluent suburban family raising three … More

Rating:
R (for strong sexual content, language, and some drug use)
Genre:
Drama , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Todd Solondz
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Jul 16, 2002
Box Office:
$0.9M
Runtime:
Fine Line Features - Official Site


Cast


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Critic Reviews for Storytelling

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (42) | DVD (20)

Despite [Solondz's] undeniable talent, however manipulative, his stories are too sour and mean-spirited for my taste.

Full Review… | March 13, 2002
New York Observer
Top Critic

That Storytelling has value cannot be denied. Not even Solondz's thirst for controversy, sketchy characters and immature provocations can fully succeed at cheapening it.

Full Review… | February 24, 2002
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

In his latest effort, Storytelling, Solondz has finally made a movie that isn't just offensive -- it also happens to be good.

Full Review… | February 15, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Solondz is without doubt an artist of uncompromising vision, but that vision is beginning to feel, if not morally bankrupt, at least terribly monotonous.

February 8, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

A frustrating experience, made more so by the seemingly self-referential moments in the film.

Full Review… | February 8, 2002
Seattle Times
Top Critic

While Solondz tries and tries hard, Storytelling fails to provide much more insight than the inside column of a torn book jacket.

Full Review… | December 19, 2010

Todd Solondz is a white Spike Lee.

Full Review… | August 26, 2009
ColeSmithey.com

Solondz has finally brought his critics into the frame, if only in an attempt to subject them to the same torture as everyone else.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009

The film is marked by the same darkly humorous sensibility of rest of Solondz's work, excpet that the novelty is gone and the acerbic vision is now contained in a fractured text marred by poor storytelling and shifting tone--it's not easy to shock anymore

Full Review… | February 10, 2007
EmanuelLevy.Com

In a scabrous follow-up to Happiness, Todd Solondz once again crafts a movie easier to admire than it is to like.

Full Review… | November 7, 2002
Netflix

It's never less than interesting, that's for sure, but I didn't like it.

Full Review… | October 13, 2002
Goatdog's Movies

...a sensational self-expose, in which the director presents us with any number of characters that ... reflect and represent various aspects of Todd Solondz

Full Review… | August 6, 2002
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Storytelling is a witty, dark, and strangely satisfying experiment. It's a little bit sad, a little bit sick, and a whole lot honest.

Full Review… | July 31, 2002
DVD Clinic

challenging and uncompromised, and Solondz makes his point and punches it home

July 16, 2002
Q Network Film Desk

This one plays as two separate pieces that may have been better if presented as stand-alone films in different formats.

Full Review… | June 28, 2002
Supercala.com

The movie does such an excellent job of critiquing itself at every faltering half-step of its development that criticizing feels more like commiserating.

June 4, 2002
Philadelphia Weekly

Solondz is so intent on hammering home his message that he forgets to make it entertaining.

Full Review… | May 15, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Whether you consider him glib or perverse or really onto something, his m.o. makes for provocative movie storytelling.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Film Journal International

It's meant to be bold and shocking...

Full Review… | April 4, 2002
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This painfully arch and incredibly self-absorbed film -- which might best be described as a dark comedy -- displays nearly all of Solondz's worst and laziest filmmaking tendencies in one compact package.

Full Review… | March 15, 2002
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Still pretentious and filled with subtext, but entertaining enough at 'face value' to recommend to anyone looking for something different.

Full Review… | March 14, 2002
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Solondz is a courageous social commentator and a canny provocateur at the same time. He'll never get to Hollywood if he stays on this track, but cinema will be a lot duller if he ever mends his incendiary ways.

Full Review… | March 9, 2002
Christian Science Monitor

I am more offended by his lack of faith in his audience than by anything on display here.

Full Review… | March 5, 2002
MovieMartyr.com

Each story on its own could have been expanded and worked into a compelling single feature, but in its current incarnation, Storytelling never quite gets over its rather lopsided conception.

Full Review… | March 1, 2002
Sacramento Bee

Audience Reviews for Storytelling

This is a two-part film, one story about the racial tensions that result when a creative writing student has a tryst with her professor and the other about a documentarian trying to film an unstable teenager.
In every sense this is a Todd Solondz film: the long shots and silences, the out-of-place characters, and the cringe comedy. But of all the Solondz films I've seen, I think this is my favorite. The characters are more finely drawn, and even though the themes are opaque, like most of his work, there seems to be more cohesiveness to this effort. I also really enjoyed the performances in the first segment, especially by Selma Blair and Leo Fitzpatrick.
The film's main flaw is the opacity of the themes. Why do these two stories belong together? Is Solondz trying to say something about how thin the line is between fact and fiction? I'm not sure.
Overall, I liked this film even though there are significant aspects that remain unclear.

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hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

½

The thing about Todd Solondz's "Storytelling" is that you can't simply just watch it as another, random film, because it's not just 'another random film.' You will have needed to have seen Solondz's previous work ("Welcome to the Dollhouse," "Happiness") and grasp the controversy and criticism surrounding him, for "Storytelling" is a meditation on Solondz's sensibilities. Solondz turns his script and lens back on the audience as well as himself. He is questioning both his admirers and his detractors. He is also questioning himself- why he is drawn to this material, why explore such darkness? "Storytelling" is a sort of subtlety brilliant piece of metafiction but it's not all entirely satisfying. These stories are just a tad bit trite, yet they still come with a considerable amount of good- namely the casting (Blair, Goodman, Giamatti, Webber) and Solondz's sharp dialogue and observations. I can't recommend this film to anyone other than fans of Todd Solondz's fascinating and unforgivably complex body of work.

More
stevenecarrier
Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

½

Amazingly structured, beautifully shot, and brilliant, straightforward and honest dialogue. Storytelling is dark humored, luridly amusing and entertaining, and funny as hell in the demented sense. It's sharp, perversely genuine, witty and brutally forthright. Avoid the "R" rating at all cost and watch this in it's true form, RENT THE UNRATED VERSION!

"Fiction"
Vi is a hip college teenager who allows herself to be exploited and abused by any guy, including her writing professor, in order to get inspiration for her creative writing class.

- In my eyes, this story seems to me it would be more on the "Non-fiction" side. But you can be the judge.

"Non-fiction"
Toby Oxman is a hapless loser/shoe salesman who wants to be a famous documentary filmmaker. For his first project, Toby explores the dysfunctional Livingston family, focusing mostly on the oldest son Scooby, an alienated, hates-the-world, ticking-time-bomb, bisexual, high school student with dreams of being famous.

- Strange how this story is "Non-fiction", but hell, I love it's eccentricity. Just makes the movie more intriguing.

Storytelling is disturbing, but it's always fun! Coming from the guy who directed "Welcome to the Dollhouse" you should already know what kind of material to expect. Todd Solondz is a great director, always with a strange and twisted, but interesting outlook on life. He's an amazing artist.

I highly recommend Storytelling.


"A masterful comedy that will divide audiences, but it left me laughing hysterically. I hope that doesn't make you think I'm a sick bastard, but if so, piss off."
- Film Threat

"I saw it a third time. By then I had moved beyond the immediate shock of the material and was able to focus on what a well-made film it was; how concisely Solondz gets the effects he's after."
- Roger Ebert

"Solondz has finally made a movie that isn't just offensive -- it also happens to be good. He's still shouting, still violating our politically correct sensibilities, but the shocks now have thematic purpose. They don't just titillate, they resonate."
- The Globe and Mail

"The leanest and meanest of Solondz's misanthropic comedies, feasts on the anguish of adolescence and confusion of college -- white suburban-style."
- Village Voice

"Almost as uncompromising, and sometimes as funny, as "Dollhouse" or "Happiness.""
- Chicago Tribune

"It's extremely well played and often very funny. But beware: Solondz uses humor as a booby trap, so be careful what you laugh at."
- TV Guide

"A movie that advances the career of a demonstrably gifted filmmaker, a fearlessly funny movie whose laughs draw blood, a bracingly provocative movie that won't apologize for its bad temper."
- Rolling Stone

More
creepfreak
jd cryptic

Super Reviewer

Brutal Honesty, A thought-provoking well-written movie, Goes overboard a few times but overall great, Made me want to see all of Solondz's other movies

More
arashxak
Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

Storytelling Quotes


Mr. Gary Scott:
I don't know about what happened, because once you start writing, it all becomes fiction.
– Submitted by Harry W (3 years ago)

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