Since its release in 1995, director Todd Solondz's coming-of-age comedy Welcome to the Doll House has become an evergreen cult favorite. Now, the official follow up is coming, and it looks every bit as weird and wonderful as the first movie. Though we're not sure Wiener-Dog can be called a direct sequel. The first trailer and poster have arrived. And if you love dogs, you don't want to miss this.
From director Todd Solondz, Wiener-Dog is a dark, starkly funny story of a single dog and the many different people she touches over her short lifetime. Man's best friend starts out teaching a young boy some contorted life lessons before being taken in by a compassionate vet tech named Dawn Wiener. Dawn reunites with someone from her past and sets off on a road trip.
After leaving Dawn, Wiener-Dog encounters a floundering film professor. He also hooks up with an embittered elderly woman and her needy granddaughter. What these people all have in common is a longing for something more. Solondz's perversely dark comedy offers an appallingly honest look at the American experience, brought to life by its all-star cast.
If Wiener-Dog seems familiar to some of you indie film fans, it may not be the Dawn Wiener connection that resides within. Way back in 1989, the French comedy Baxter tread on similar ground. That movie followed a white Bull Terrier named Baxter who is given to an elderly woman by her daughter. As time passes, the dog develops aggressive and murderous behavior in order to be adopted by another family. It is passed from owner to owner, until it ultimately comes to live with a young boy who believes he is Hitler reincarnated. That film, as you can see, had a decidedly different approach. Though this new movie doesn't appear to be any lighter in tone.
Fans of Welcome to the Doll House may be hugely disappointed to see that Heather Matarazzo has not returned to play Dawn Wiener. The actress was actually offered a chance to reprise the iconic role, but turned it down. Now, indie darling Greta Gerwig will take on the character made famous more than twenty years ago. Both actress are roughly the same age. It should be noted that Brie Larson, who just won her first Best Actress Oscar, was also in the movie, but got cut out.
Todd Solondz not only directed this quasi-sequel destined to be a cult comedy hit, he also wrote the screenplay. Megan Ellison and Christine Vachon are producing. The ensemble cast includes Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, Julie Delpy, Danny DeVito, Tracy Letts and Zosia Mamet. Wiener-Dog is in theaters June 24 from Amazon Studios and IFC Films. Check out the first poster and trailer courtesy of Apple Trailers.