Belfast Telegraph

Todd goes mainstream in Dark Horse

Independent filmmaker Todd Solondz has compared his latest film to mainstream American comedies like Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

But with the comparison about his new movie Dark Horse, starring Mia Farrow and Christopher Walken, came a warning.

In the movie business "the manchild has been an overused genre," he said during a news conference at the Venice Film Festival, adding: "Frankly if Dark Horse was the end of those movies I would feel I could go to sleep a happy man."

He describes Dark Horse, about a college drop-out called Abe - portrayed by Jordan Gelber - as being imbued with a "kind of melancholy".

The film - much of which is reminiscent of other work Happiness and Life During Wartime - charts the story of a boy who doesn't totally want to grow up. "As much as it's comedy of sorts, I never really laugh," Solondz said of the film.

"Its sorrowful and there is a kind of melancholy ... the main character has so many troubles and serious misfortunes that befall him I feel a kind of tenderness for Abe," he said.

Abe, in his 30s, lives at home and works listlessly at the real estate company of his father, played by Walken. His life is the opposite of his successful brother, a doctor, played by The Hangover star Justin Bartha. Farrow plays Abe's mother.

Abe's situation is "very symptomatic of a consumerist society where 'infantilisation' is encouraged," ventured Solondz.

Dark Horse is in the running for the festival's top honour - the Golden Lion - to be awarded on September 10 at the close of the festival on Venice's Lido island.

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