Director Todd Solondz is a white Spike Lee. "Happiness" and
"Storytelling" represent a pretentious exploitation of incendiary
topics in the interest of aggrandizing the director without ever rising
above a certain 'fuck-you' level of social awareness. Solondz is
content to smear crap and yell, 'look at all of this bad cultural
juju,' without ever suggesting a humane clarity at the bottom of his
divisive vision. Director Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") said he found
"Happiness" condescending to its characters, and Solondz took enough
umbrage at the remark to make a cinematic retort that merely goes
further in its foul contempt for human interaction than "Happiness"
did. Solondz will likely never make a film half as good as "American
Beauty," but that's beside the point. "Storytelling" is not worth the
waste of time to watch it.
Rated R. 83 mins. (D) (One Star)