Comments on Movies about Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder


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  1. As an adult who divorced my my mother, and pretty much my family to escape her malignant narcissism, I too have an insatiable appetite to find out more on the issue. I think my mother may also border on psychopath as well. She was good at getting others to abuse me, including my brother and my step father, and she played victim, all too well. She has smeared me so badly to family they believe I abused her, even though her behavior nearly got me killed.

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    1. That totally sounds like my mother as well. I just figured out my mother has npd, but the damage has already been done. I hope I never have to see or hear her ever again. Just like you, I'm taking as much information in as I can. I can't believe it has took me so long to find out.

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    2. I wouldn't blame yourself. Narcissistic Mothers are very smart and crafty, and know how to redirect problems onto another.

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    3. This blog has really helped, I mostly have difficulty with the flying monkeys which are my younger sisters which I used to be really close to. I don't know how to get rid of them. They keep coming back even when I make it clear I do not want any contact with them. I really do not know what to do.

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    4. I wish someone would help me out, I already lost my dad and my sister, they tried to help me and my mother turned them against me, I tried escaping and she did not let me, this is beyond reality it feels like a horror movie, when I flew from my house she made people track me down every step, and eventually manipulated my aunt into taking me to her, I have not left my room in over 2 months, I gained a lot of weight, I am not doing and cant do anything about my life, unless she lets me, and she wont, she is the definition of a monster, a complete lack of conscience or empathy, since I have been here my health has deteriorated to a point where I needed surgery, this is not fiction, my mind cant understand, how someone who you are meant to call a mother can be evil.

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    5. Betty Broderick was the victim of a narcissist. Not the other way around. The fact that you don't see and acknowledge that makes me wonder what you know about the topic. I mention it in hopes that you will look at it from her perspective and not be Dan's flying monkey.

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    6. I am just learning that my mother is a malignant narcissist, although I was on to something in my twenties when I recognized her in "People of the Lie". My mother is a retired minister. I've regarded her as a fraud most of my adult life and she knows it, I've told her. She received the adoration, respect and love from her congregation simply because of her title. She didn't have to earn it and it fed her empty sense of self. Clergy is the perfect career for a malignant narcissist. She was ordained when I was 14 yrs old. I had to sit there and listen to her preach peace, justice and love and then go home and be victimized by her aggressive controlling, raging and gaslighting behavior. I walked away at 18 not knowing who I was other than her daughter.

      I got pregnant by by first boyfriend when I was 17. When we told her she flew into a characteristic rage and said "I'm not raising another baby". I told her that we wanted to have the baby and she told me I'd have to find somewhere else to live. She had a three bedroom house and plenty of room for us. She forced me to have an abortion, as there was no opinion other than hers and I was terrified of her and didn't have any confidence in myself, or an identity apart from her. To this day I mourn the child I never had.

      Now that I am on to her and developed my own sense of worth and identity, she lies to my face when challenged by me. Lies just flow right out of her mouth, even over the most insignificant of issues, just so that she can remain above reproach in her mind. I am no longer afraid of her, I am no longer under her control. I am my own person with my own opinions and my own interests (imagine that!). What I once believed was rejection is just her lack of need for me now that I don't play her game.

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  2. Unfortunately, I know exactly what you are saying about being abused by a narcissistic mother but then have everyone believe you abused her. I am so glad to hear you have escaped. I wish you well in your healing journey.

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  3. A friend of mine turned me on to the film Now, Voyager. Please let me know if you would consider that a film about narcissism.

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    1. This film is my life. It is very moving and triggering but worth a watch if you can handle all the subtexts . Gladys Cooper is astounding and Bette never looked more seductive..well actully she did but this was the first movie I saw with her so..y' know first impresssions.. :)

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    2. I just watched this film, and esily identified the roles relating to the people in my family. Was very helpful, and with these kinds of families, we need everything we can get.

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  4. Anonymous, I am not familiar with this film so I looked the description up on Wikimedia. I have cut and pasted just the first paragraph:

    Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) is an unattractive, overweight, repressed spinster whose life is dominated by her dictatorial mother (Gladys Cooper), an aristocratic Boston dowager whose verbal and emotional abuse of her daughter has contributed to the woman's complete lack of self-confidence. Fearing Charlotte is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, her sister-in-law Lisa (Ilka Chase) introduces her to psychiatrist Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains), who recommends she spend time in his sanatorium.

    Just that first paragraph, knowing nothing more, my guess is definitely! You have piqued my curiosity, so I want to watch it now. What are your thoughts on the film?

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  5. Id like to add that american psycho is a movie about narcissism despite the title (american psycho as psychopath). The movie is about a self-obsessed male of 80s yuppie era with taste for murder. however, spoiler alert!! (if you have not seen it), finding out that commited murders are all his grandiose twisted fantasy. The title however is far from precise and is deceiving, because despite the killings being attributed more to psychopaths the character does not go well with the psychological profile of a psychopath, and is more associated with self obsession. I do understand that psychopathy may turn out comorbid with NPD however there is a certain distinction between narcissistic psychopath and a narcissist. I presume that narcissistic psychopath is more self-obsessed and feels more self-entitlement than a regular psychopath, however goes about without being hurt when faced with his imperfections. In the movie, the character in fact feels extreme dissapointment when he fails (e.g. the business card scene). And the inner monologues also explain the idea of him being this way, being hurt until he becomes ''not being there''.
    Also Jude Law has starred in two NPD films. Firstly, Alfie is about a narcissist. It is deemed to be about a harmless selfish metrosexual, however, it includes some obivous clues on NPD for example the his promiscious lifestyle, using women. I see that this movie is not being treated as it should be. It is viewed as a lecture on what men who choose to womanize realize at the end, however, the moral is more deep (not sure if the makers of Alfie with Jude law are aware of it, however I am sure that makers of 1966 movie or the writer of the Alfie (book) might be more sure about "what's it all about"). However, its possible that Alfie, rather than turning womanizing NPD sufferers or ordinary men on the right track turns, paradoxically lures men into the charming lifestyle of Alfie or the "N".
    And the second one is wisdom of crocodiles. It is viewed as avampire flick, however it covers the subject of emotional vampires pretty well with metaphors of vampirism and pretty obvious clues on the mirror watching, trying to attain perfection in the eyes of the significant other. The main character sucks blood as it contains emotions, and considers that the perfect love shall end his misery of this need to feast on blood (emotions). The character also reminiscens on a childhood event (probably it was meant as the event which caused him to be like this) when holding on to a branch of a tree and trying his best to hold on, though not being able to save himself and falling (after which he does not remember anything at all).

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    1. Anonymous, I have seen several professionals make various distinctions between narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy and others claim it is essentially splitting hairs. Then, as you stated, there is the possibility of comorbidity. I have not seen these movies in order to comment, but I will look into it. Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts.

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  6. I think the abusive mother in the movie, Precious, is exactly like my narcissistic mother. She did every single thing that mine did (gave her a beautiful name, allowed the father to sexually abuse her, became jealous as a result, was extremely, physically, abusively violent, sabotaged her, told her she would not be good for anything but welfare, made her sign up for welfare, abused the grandchildren that were the result of the incest, and put up a false front. There was a scene of her overfeeding Precious (mine did not overfeed me, but she made me dress in such ugly clothes and shoes that I was made fun of at school), but I think she might have deprived her of food as well, because in one scene, pregnant (by her father) Precious stole some food and ran. The one thing the movie mom did not do, was pretend to be nice to Precious. Mine pretended to be nice to me as a way of hoovering me back in, since I never have been interested in being part of dysfunctional relationships.

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    1. I am sorry for your pain, Anonymous. I hope you are finding some peace and recovery in your life.

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    2. Although my situation was different, I really thought Precious hit the nail on the head for the abusive mother. And I agree with you Gail: my mom was nice in between too, to draw me back in!!! AND to have the joy of being close to me as she consoled me from the abuse SHE caused! EEEEEK THE ILLNESS!!! My heart went out to Precious.

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  7. I recently saw August Osage County which stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. I was in awe as I watched the movie as I related to the family dysfunction. Meryl Streep gives a great performance as a narcissistic mother. I felt like I was watching my own family.

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    1. Amelia, thanks for the recommendation.

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    2. yes. That movie me gave me the shivers. However my mother was always too smart to act that cruel infront of everybody at the same time.

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    3. That scene when they're at the dinner table and the mother unleashes on them was very difficult to watch, pushed lots of buttons.

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  8. I know this article is about narcissistic mothers but I would like to make a comment on Debbie Nathan's claim about multiple personalities. I don't know about Sybil and the whole fraud thing but I do know that I am offended by her claims. I am a 56 year old female and I am a multiple.I have Dissociation Identity Disorder (DID) as it is termed now, I had a narcissistic mother and was severely sexually, physically, and verbally abused by her and others. Parts (personalities) do not come out and do something you can't do; they come out and protect you from a trauma so severe, it cannot be handled alone. I was 5 years old when the sexual abused started and I feared my mother more than I feared my abuser. DID is real and living with it is a challenge every second of my life. It is nothing like it is portrayed in movies,etc.I invite Ms Nathan to live one hour and my head and tell me DID is a fraud. Thanks for the website.

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    1. Anonymous, I am sorry for the pain you have endured. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us.

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  9. reviews for the betty movie on amazon are giving betty the sympathy for the way her ex treated her

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    1. Yes, the case divided the jury and the city for that matter.

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    2. Dan Broderick was a textbook narcissist.

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  10. Thank you for this great and much appreciated website. Ordinary People could be added to the movie list.

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    1. I did add Ordinary People to the movie section of the bookstore along with many others, but I have not added to this article. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  11. Other movies: Black Swan, where Natalie Portman's mother is a narcissist and tries to sabotage her daughter's success.

    The Fighter, Melissa Leo plays Mark Wahlberg's mother. Mark Wahlberg is the scapegoat child while Christian Bale is the golden child. The mother uses her daughters as flying monkeys to attack Mark Wahlberg's girlfriend (Amy Adams) who is standing up for Wahlberg.

    Another interesting movie I watched recently: Ever After: A Cinderella Story. The wicked stepmother (Anjelica Huston) is obviously a narcissist. What's interesting is the way the step-sisters are portrayed. One step-sister is the golden child and is clearly a narcissist in the making. She keeps her cool composure in front of an audience, but when she realizes Danielle/Cinderella (Drew Barrymore) is her competition she throws a huge fit in front of the Queen, no longer able to keep the mask on. The other step-sister is the scapegoat, told to be silent and always getting the leftovers from the golden child. When Danielle/Cinderella refuses to do her chores, the scapegoat stepsister is forced to take her place. I liked this movie because there's a clear happy ending. The stepmother and golden stepsister are forced to work as servants, while the scapegoat stepsister and Danielle/Cinderella live happily ever after.

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    1. This is one of my favorite movies ever. I wish I could be as strong as Danielle. I had an evil step-mother and two step sisters growing up, and I was certainly the scapegoat.

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    2. I was already 27 when my father met his second wife, a year after my mother's death, but the next 30 years did more than a bit of damage to me anyway. Perhaps because after trying to deal with mom's disease since I was sixteen had left me quite vulnerable in some ways. Father was a borderline alcoholic so I was very worried about him after mom passed away, and at first the woman seemed like a gift from god, she was able to control his drinking.

      But some time later the sniping, gaslighting, underhanded compliments etc started. And she was always the victim. And I had no damn idea how to deal with it back then, and I didn't want to cut off because I wanted to keep my father.

      And yes, there were even two daughters, twins my age, one always seemed nicer while the other was coldly aloof right from the beginning, or at least I think so because they were identical twins who had same hairstyle and dressed a lot alike and I never - fortunately, I guess - needed to deal with them so much I would have been able to tell them apart.

      Maybe one reason the second wife kept attacking me was that when they met I was studying in university while her daughters were both nurses, she didn't want the daughter of his man's first wife to become "more accomplished" than hers. If so that was one goal she did accomplish - I was pretty depressed then to start with, and with no support and continued undermining from her, and realizing that my father, somebody I had thought I could trust at least with that if not with some other things, was playing along at least to the extent of refusing to find any fault with her I broke. Dropped out of university and ended up with all kinds of very low level blue collar jobs, like cleaning.

      Only now, nearly 30 years later and both of them dead it seems I am finally starting to recover beyond the point of merely enduring.

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  12. Three that get NPD mother perfectly:

    Interiors by Woody Allen
    Sopranos
    August Osage County

    Weird that I watched August: Osage County late last night by myself, got chills from familiarity AND we had 2 earthquakes while I was watching - only to find out from an email this morning that my mother had sent blistering, cruel letters to her 9 grandchildren (all wonderful, productive young adults) telling them that they were cut off from her life for not paying more attention to her. Mean as a snake. She has been estranged from her oldest son for 30 years - distanced from me and my siblings for the last ten. If Julia Roberts had turned around and NOT quit driving that old truck down the road I would have been furious. Lived it but not sure if I survived it.

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  13. Frances 1982 Jessica Lange

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  14. Before I heard anything about this 'disorder' I was drawn into the movie 'Now Voyager'. I can really identify with that movie and how Bette Davis repeats over and over again: "My mother, my mother, my mother!" Haunting. Thank you for this wealth of information. I have only put a name to all of this recently - my mother died just over a year ago and many feelings and emotions have since emerged from within.

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  15. Another great movie showing the NPD mother is Tangled!

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  16. Another great film portrayal of an NPD wife and mother is: "Dodsworth" starring Walter Huston. Classic!

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  17. "We Need To Talk About Kevin" - Tilda Swinton puts in an amazing performance.

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  18. The hallmark trait of a narcissistic personality disorder is their ability to manipulate their lies into a web of deceit..nothing is more threatening to the narcissistic personality disorder than what is called the "EXPOSER" or the "TRUTH TELLER" ..the NPD will hate the "exposer" or "truth teller" more than anyone in the world, because NO other personality has the courage to confront and expose the NPD like these people......the truth teller is not afraid of getting so angry that they will explode and rage at the lies..that they will one up the NPDs by going to the media and playing the same game these nut jobs do....but doing it with truth.......truth that can't be denied. like the truth shown on video evidence.....NPD HATE VIDEO EVIDENCE and will attack and seek to destroy anyone who dares to use this evidence against them....criminal minds....evil

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  19. Thank you for all these information.

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  20. "The Grifters" is a 1990 crime movie with a narcissistic mother.

    Angelica Huston plays the mother to John Cusak. Huston is controlling and seductive towards his son, and she attempts to sabotage his relationship with a new girlfriend.

    Very good movie, btw, nominated for 4 Oscars.

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  21. Baby the Rain Must Fall, with Steve McQueen. Destruction of the scapegoat son.

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  22. I think Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood has some relateable characteristics. In that story, you see the narc mom's backstory... Her own narc mom. But I sure felt for Sandra Bullock's character.

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  23. the pure and perfect example of NPD is Sheldon Cooper in Big Bang Theory, tv series..
    watch how he treats everybodey,his friends and his poor girlfriend Amy

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  24. Postcards from the Edge with Meryl Streep & Shirley Maclean.

    Mother - Albert Brooks & Debbie Reynolds

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  25. Like Water For Chocolate..a beautiful foreign film. Tragic love story of narcissistic mother with accomplice.and golden child sister.

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  26. Anywhere but here with Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman. And I agree 100% about Divine Secrets of Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Narcissistic mother begets narcissist daughter who inflicts pain onto daughter (Sandra Bullock) who feels undeserving of love from her boyfriend/fiance...I can certainly identify with that. Both movies made me bawl.

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  27. Now, Voyager opened my eyes about having a narcissistic mother. The mother made Charlotte into such an ugly duckling. Her family members mocked her, even her niece. Her self-esteem was zero. As soon as she got away from her mother, Charlotte blossomed into a swan. Another classic movie--except this one is about the narcississtic partner, is Leave Her to Heaven. Gene Tierney plays the part well. Both movies are available as novels. Now, Voyager is just as good or better in book form. It's so funny--my mother thinks the mother in Now Voyager was dreadful--she doesn't see herself in it at all, how she has been so cruel to one daughter and idolized the rest.

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    1. Now voyager is a great one, same for Leave her to Heaven. I have to re-check this list since i didn't notice Gone with the Wind. If it's not here, it sure should be. Scarlett is one of the worst narcs out there. I identified with the people she stepped on so much that i told my satanic "mother" that a cat's a better mother than you..... lifted straight from Gone with the wind. Sadly, that's true. Any cat, anywhere is a far better mother than that demon scum from Hell. Why are these people out there and why are we the ones to suffer under their tyranny ? I'm permanently enraged from all i've been through. God, it's beyond awful. I'm trying to heal. Thanks for all you do.

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  28. Gail - thank you, what a valuable article...I only recently discovered the term 'NPD' and finding a list of movies to help explain the condition (which is difficult for us to understand) helps enormously - we think we are alone (and crazy) in the face of a NPD mom, there is no hope of treatment (being elderly) so us kids have to cower in the pain we know will come our way if we upset her, what a horrible + nasty personality disorder this is - your article is very very helpful, thank you !

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  29. I have read that Narcissistic Personality Disorder has become one the leading causes of health concern due to the effects that their behavior has on their victims. Mental anguish and stress, physical ailments, isolation, mistrust, low self confidence and suicide. As I have learned more about this condition, I can believe it because there are so many of them in society today. I also believe that the estimates of how many there actually are, are way too low. These creatures are unbelievable to those who don't understand their cruelty. After many years, I still can't wrap my head around how being so evil is actually what makes them tick. They are like demons; their goal is to steal, kill and destroy those that they despise. But also like demons, they envy and want to be the ones they hate. I don't know if the majority of people these days are narcissistic or not, but it seems that a lot are, more or less to some degree. They are fake, sneaky and the best and boldest liars imaginable. Sexually promiscuous and/or perverted on the down low while trying to project their filthy ways onto other people. Smiling while maligning you to other people behind your back. The only hope of dealing with these individuals is through Jesus Christ who protects us and gives us the discernment to see them for who they are because their empath victims don't have a chance of defending themselves, let alone winning against them. Best to leave that battle, or should I say war, to our Saviour.

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  30. As someone who has just discovered that my mother has NPD - we thought my brother did, and it's no wonder, he inherited it - this blog has helped me enormously.

    I'd like to add another TV show that has helped immensely: "Gilmore Girls." I'm a single parent of one son, and my relationship with my mother imitates Lorelai's and Emily's nearly to a T. Watching Lorelai permit Emily only limited interaction with her and her family has helped me, as well as providing me with comfort as I hear Emily say things to Lorelai that my mother has said to me. It helps me feel less alone, and honestly makes me able to laugh at much of what is a terribly tragic situation.

    Thanks again for all you are doing. I have now cut my mother off, even from my son (whom she treats like a perfect angel...not to be trusted). You are helping me rebuild my life - better late than never.

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  31. Does anyone feel like they don't even want to watch a movie about NPD? I've dealt with it all my life. I want to see a film where someone thrives after abuse. Like really thrives, not just recovers.

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  32. Welcome To The Dollhouse (1995). Central character Dawn (aka: "Weiner Dog") :Scapegoat. 2 GC siblings. Surrounded by malignant narcs & narc-enablers at home & at school.
    Twelve-year-old Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo) is perhaps the most put-upon adolescent in film history in Todd Solondz's bitterly hilarious black comedy Welcome to the Dollhouse. Dawn is bright but awkward, both physically and socially, and is appallingly unpopular among her peers, to whom she's better known as Wienerdog. Possessing little charm or grace and perhaps the most misguided fashion sense of her generation, Dawn is not an easy girl to like and practically no one seems interested in making the effort. If life is tough for Dawn at school, it's hardly any better at home. While her folks dote on her gratingly cute younger sister Missy (Daria Kalinina) and look with pride to her bookish older brother Mark (Matthew Faber), Dawn is either ignored or treated as an annoyance. Dawn has developed a crush on Steve (Eric Mabius), the hunky guitarist Mark has drafted into his rock band (significantly, Mark is less interested in making cool noise or unloading teenage angst than in having another extracurricular activity to put on his college applications); Steve is polite but obviously not interested in her. However, Dawn has attracted the attention of a boy at school -- Brandon (Brendan Sexton), a mean-spirited junior thug whose idea of a good time is threatening Dawn with rape. A painfully accurate account of life in junior high (what Matt Groening called the lowest pit of hell), Welcome to the Dollhouse is also very funny, but writer and director Todd Solondz never lets the film's humor dilute the agony of its leading character; anyone who has ever been 12 years old will doubtless laugh at Dawn while uncomfortably recalling the horror of their own preteen years.~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTCoF7ZQG0E

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  33. A movie that I could identify with, as a man with a NPD father, was "Not Here To Be Loved." The movie is in French, with subtitles if you need them. In this movie you don't see much of the childhood days, but even from what you see when the child is 50 and the father 80, you can relate and know for certain what the child's whole life was like, if you had an abusive, selfish father like the one in the movie.

    The adult child has practically been destroyed as a person, has no self-confidence, and basically walks around numb. When he visits the nursing home, the old man still thinks of only himself and still verbally abuses and puts the son down. Two other siblings that we never meet apparently have totally stopped visiting the old man completely. The adult child in the movie has outbursts of rage and cursing every time he leaves the nursing home after visiting the father; that I could really identify with. Rage is pretty much all that you are left with when you have a father like this.

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