Dark Horse Film Details
Overview: Romance blooms between two tricenarians in arrested development: an avid toy collector who is the dark horse of his family and a depressed woman on the rebound.
Review: I’m conflicted about this movie. On the one hand Todd Solondz is one of my favorite directors, his movies are intelligent and they always make you think. Dark Horse was no exception, I find myself thinking about it long after I’ve watched it. It’s a sign of a great film when it can make you do that. But as entertaining and stimulating as I found Dark Horse to be, I completely disagree with its overall message. Dark Horse addresses the trend in our modern society that young men are moving out at later ages. I think this complex issue is simplified in the film. There is no mention of the current economic situation or the fact that we’ve had a very high unemployment rate for going on six years. Indeed the unemployment situation is so bad that it’s looking like this could turn into a “lost decade”. Nor does the film address the systematic bias that schools today have developed against men, and why so many more women are going to college today than men. Schools are feminine places run by women, and over the years they’ve taken away things like dodge-ball for example and have started punishing boys for being boys. There’s also a lot more grants and scholarship opportunities for women. The character of Abe is such an unrealistic figure who you’d never see in the real world. What makes him so unrealistic is that he is staying at home because he CHOOSES to. Abe has a wealthy family, a good job, and supportive parents. He drives a $50,000 Hummer. This is directly in contrast to us men living with our parents in real life. Most of us WANT to move out, but we can’t because we’re poor and we can’t find jobs. If most of us men in this situation were even wealthy enough to own a Hummer like Abe, we would rather move out and sleep in the Hummer then stay living at home. And none of us have parents that are as supportive as Abe’s, that was so unrealistic how his parents kept throwing money at him, hooked him up with an awesome job, and even offered to help pay for his house, and yet he was still living at home. Most of us in this situation are not getting any support like that. I’d venture to say that most young men living at home are actually paying their parents money for rent instead of vice versa. This is a movie that was written by a rich old person who doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a young man in modern day society. Solondz has no idea, back when he was our age you could get a gallon of gasoline for a quarter and wages were so high that a fry cook could afford to save up for a house. Abe is portrayed as a failure partly because he doesn’t have a college degree. Yet, what does it say about society, that everyone HAS To get a college degree now or they’re worthless? Librarians have to get college degrees now! Soon, even janitors and cashiers will have to have college degrees. “Oh, you’re trying to become a janitor? you need to go a degree in Janitorial Science!” It’s ridiculous, whatever happened to apprenticeships and learning on the job? And most of the people who have college degrees don’t even remember most of the stuff they learned in college! But Dark horse doesn’t touch on any of these issues. It oversimplifies things to the point where it’s comedic in it’s oversimplification. The messages of the film are two-fold. The fist one is “if you live at home you’re a failure”, the second one is “men who live at home do so because they’re lazy and immature”. The film really does make it as simple as that. Not only were the messages simple, but they were also contradictory and poorly thought out. For example, Abe is criticized for his toy collecting, with the film saying “toy collecting is a pathological response in a society of consumer capitalism”, yet Abe is also criticized for not buying his own house. Isn’t the fact that everyone has to go out and buy their own big house by the age of 30 more of a pathology of capitalism than toy collecting is? I guess the biggest question this film left me pondering is “what defines success”? The film’s idea of success is clear, if you, like Abe’s brother Richard, get a college degree and move out, you are a “successful front runner”. Never mind the fact that Richard works as a doctor overcharging and exploiting sick people in order to obtain that “success”. By contrast, if you don’t get a college degree and live at home, no matter how nice and funny of a person you may be, you are a “dark horse that failed”. And if you collect toys you’re also a failure because you are a “pathological capitalist”, Never mind that many would say the obsessive focus on status symbols like home ownership are also pathologies of capitalism. If anything, watching and contemplating Dark Horse, with its staggering oversimplifications, has made me believe the direct opposite of what the intended message was.
Duration: 86 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Also known as: Темная лошадка,Dark Horse,Mi novia ideal,Dark Horse – Diários de Um Falhado,Karanlık At,L’étalon noir: Le défi de la dernière chance,Tajni adut,ダークホース リア獣エイブの恋,Czarny koń