This is a very interesting movie to see and it’s considered a black comedy. But I don’t see anything funny in this movie but drama.
In this movie the story is about a 11 or 12 year old girl Dawn Wiener who wants to be popular but she is an outcast and socially awkward and gets picked on by teachers and other kids. This was made in the 90’s before bullying was taken seriously and before there was even awareness about it. In the movie it shows how one doesn’t have to be sexually abused to be an outcast or need to be locked in the closet and be beaten up to experience 7th grade as a nightmare. I thought “duh” because I already knew this because I had experienced it myself. I was that socially awkward girl and an outcast. But the difference is she doesn’t have anxiety so she didn’t have a breakdown or even regress and have an “adjustment disorder” and she didn’t act out due to all that teasing and harassment and not being able to be “normal.” Instead she had her special clubhouse where she could always go to and escape the world to relax which her parents take away. I hate them for it.
In the movie it’s unclear why Dawn is always picked on and why kids and grown ups are cruel to her. So I decided to google “why was Dawn Wiener an outcast” and got lot of results. I saw articles and blogs written about the movie and I learned some interesting things.
I read that in the movie, we are supposed to side with the bullies and hate Dawn. But that is not what I experienced. Instead I see myself as Dawn because I can relate to her and I think I was a Dawn. In the movie she would do anything to be “normal” and however other kids treat her, she copies that behavior and does it to her little sister and her parents ignore her and don’t give a darn about her. They act cold towards her, they don’t abuse her, they just ignore her and don’t understand her and they don’t act sympathetic towards her and her siblings never stand up for her. Her mother whines how she doesn’t have very good social skills and “doesn’t have any” and I just wanted to shout at the TV “so why don’t you take her to a therapist then, get her help.” Does the mother expect her daughter to just learn social skills without any support? It’s even clear Dawn in unaware of her social issues because she said she was not having any social problems so she wasn’t lying when she said “no” when the principal asked her if she was having social problems.
In the movie Dawn was accused of being a lesbian which ironically the actress in real life is actually a lesbian. I was accused of being a lesbian in high school and been asked if I was one. Also Dawn would do anything to please other kids to get them to like her. I was the same way. While she wanted to be popular, I wanted to be normal.
There were things she did in the movie I didn’t like like how she treated her little sister but I was mean to my little brothers too. But I understood Dawn only treated her sister bad because her parents ignored her and she was picked on in school so she took it all out on her little sister. Also she was supposed to give the note to her telling her to get a ride home with a friend because their mother wouldn’t be able to pick her up from her dance class due to their father’s car breaking down. So she gets kidnapped and Dawn runs away to try and find her sister but she was only doing it to impress everyone so they would all like her and she is popular. I wanted everyone to like me so I was also hoping I would do something wonderful and everyone likes me and I am normal all of a sudden. But sadly her parents didn’t notice her gone because they were too self absorbed. Also I didn’t like how she ruined one of her sister’s dolls by cutting one of their heads off. I don’t know if she was jealous that her sister was allowed to still play with dolls because their mother seemed to be in a rush for Dawn to grow up so she tried making her tear down her club house in the backyard calling it trash. She refused so she asked her little sister and older brother to do it and as a result of her refusal to cooperate, her mother takes away her dessert and splits it with her siblings in front of her. Also she turns on her friend Ralph because she got told he was a retard and to please her former bully Brandon, she decides to dump him as a friend to be “normal.” Popular to be exact. For Dawn it was to be popular, for me it was to be normal. Though I never had dumped any friends who were outcasts or different. I moved to a new school and I also moved away and one of them moved away so we lost touch. I drifted apart from someone who had Down’s syndrome because she had no interest in me when I saw her in June of 2014.
I do not like the parents in the movie or her siblings because they all act cold towards her and they even laugh at her falling in the wading pool in their backyard and Missy her little sister goes “let’s watch it again” and her family does so Dawn destroys the video tape after everyone is sleeping. I don’t blame her.
Also another thing I don’t understand is how she is supposedly ugly. I never thought Dawn was ugly or unattractive but the movie says she is so therefore she is supposed to be unattractive.
I am sure Dawn Wiener is a character that many aspies might be able to relate to because of her difficultly fitting in and having poor social skills and she obviously doesn’t read social cues and she is clearly emotionally immature because of how she dresses and the kind of pants she wears could indicate sensory issues because they were out of style. I can relate to all that. But the difference is I had parents who actually did care and paid attention to me and didn’t force me to grow up quickly and they actually supported me. Dawn never tells her parents about school or how kids and teachers treat her because why would she? Maybe she has told them in the past and they just didn’t care or they told her she was whining and that all that she is complaining about is normal stuff lot of kids go through and deal with so she gave up telling them. I would also think she had depression in the movie. She also came off to me as trying to figure out the rules so she was copying behaviors other kids do to her by bringing them home and doing them to her little sister.
This movie was supposed to make you side with the bullies and to justify their bullying they do to Dawn for how she behaves and treats her little sister and her friend but I think she did all those things because she was being bullied so she was trying anything she can to be popular and her parents never bothered to try and understand her and figure out what she was acting the way she is and getting her therapy to help her in social skills.
But the good news is there is a sequel to this movie called Wiener-dog and Dawn works as a veterinarian and I don’t think she’s ugly still and she looks pretty but she wears no make up and she does a social faux pas in the store when she runs into Brandon when he tells her she looks good and she goes “so do you.” I don’t know anything about Dawn’s adult life. There was another movie made in 2004 (story taking place ten years after Welcome to the Dollhouse) about Dawn’s cousin and at the beginning there was a funeral because Dawn supposedly killed herself but yet in Wiener-Dog, she is back from the dead so there was either a conspiracy going on there or the director wrote an alternate story and it was about if Dawn had lived.
Here is the adult Dawn:
Does she look ugly in the photo or unattractive?
Not played by Heather Matarazzo sadly because she didn’t wish to reprise her role again. Instead Greta Gerwig played her. But they do look alike. She still wears those glasses and still has her hair in a pony tail but her hair is blonde this time so it either changed color or she dyed it. She is still wearing her childish clothing. Still no make up and jewelry. She is still Dawn. But at least she didn’t have a learning disability because she was able to go to college to become a veterinarian despite getting a D on her test in 7th grade which her teacher accused her of grade grubbing when she was asking if she could retake the test and saying she knows she can do better and she was just nervous. But it’s a possibility she had done better than that and the teacher was just giving her an unfair grade because she didn’t like her and Dawn actually believed she did that poorly.
If I had to make up a conspiracy theory about the funeral, I would say Dawn had disowned her family and that brought shame to the family so they decided to fake her death so they have a funeral because they wanted to hide that dark side of them because of their failures as a family and their failure to support her and that would explain why her body wasn’t seen in the second movie during the funeral scene. Another conspiracy theory I have is Dawn decided to pursue her dream as being a veterinarian and her family didn’t approve of it so they disowned her as a result and faked her death to hide that shame. But I haven’t seen the movie or the third one so I don’t even know if Dawn is still in contact with her family or if she has even seen them or if she is totally on her own and had cut them out of her life. I wouldn’t blame her if she had. I didn’t even know if the second movie showed the funeral scene but I saw a picture of Dawn’s coffin from the movie.
I can definitely seen Dawn posting in r/raisedbynarcissists on Reddit and talking about Missy being the golden child and the favorite. I would assume Dawn got singled out by her parents because she wasn’t like the rest of them.
But when you look at other peoples comments about the movie, they have their own perspective about the character and they see the whole thing differently. This is how I see the movie and the character.