Storytelling (2001)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Black Comedy, Ensemble Film, Satire  |   Release Date - Jan 25, 2002 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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From the controversial director of Happiness comes another dark look at New Jersey, this time broken into two separate stories. The first is a 26-minute segment entitled "Fiction," which highlights the life of Marcus (Leo Fitzpatrick), an aspiring writer who was born with deformities due to cerebral palsy. He unsuccessfully tries to read a new short story to his girlfriend Vi (Selma Blair), and leaves her after the story is similarly dismissed by his fellow students and teacher, Mr. Scott (Robert Wisdom), a black Pulitzer Prize winner. Vi approaches Mr. Scott in a bar one night and agrees to go home with him, recalling a "fictional" account of their experience in the next class. The second segment, titled "Nonfiction," follows Toby Oxman (Paul Giamatti), a thirtysomething sad sack who gets the idea to make a documentary of contemporary suburban teenage life. Looking for subjects, he runs into Scooby (Mark Webber), a disaffected, dim young man who dreams of being a TV star. Scooby's home life is highly dysfunctional, with a strict father (John Goodman), a prim and proper mother (Julie Hagerty), a football player brother (Noah Fleiss), and a younger brother Mikey (Jonathan Osser), who continually chats up the family's put-upon maid Consuelo (Lupe Ontiveros). Consuelo is soon banished from the household due to her involvement with Mikey, becoming an outcast just like Scooby.

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creative-writing, family, film-director, maid, professor, sex, suburbs