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Storytelling (2002)

tomatometer

54

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

No consensus yet.

audience

68

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 8,860

My Rating

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

R,

Drama, Comedy

Todd Solondz

Jul 16, 2002

$0.9M

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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.

March 13, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop 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.

February 24, 2002 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

February 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop 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 IconTop Critic

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

February 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

December 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Views

Todd Solondz is a white Spike Lee.

August 26, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
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.

August 21, 2009 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

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

February 10, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

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

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix
Netflix

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

October 13, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
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

August 6, 2002 Full Review
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.

July 31, 2002 Full Review Source: DVD Clinic
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.

June 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Supercala.com
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.

May 15, 2002 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

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

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

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

April 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
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.

March 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
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.

March 14, 2002 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
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.

March 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

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

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com
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.

March 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
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.
October 22, 2011
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

    1. 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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