Todd Solondz revives Dawn Wiener, the geeky child who won America’s heart in his Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), for this nihilistic collection of stories linked by changing ownership of a dachshund. Greta Gerwig shoulders the unenviable task of taking over for Heather Matarazzo, who has long since sworn off playing Dawn, and Kieran Culkin is Brandon McCarthy, Dawn’s old grade-school boyfriend, who once flirtatiously threatened to rape her after class and now comes back into her life all grown up and hooked on heroin. The best story involves Danny DeVito as a screenwriting teacher, which allows Solondz, an adjunct professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, to vent his spleen at the ignorance and arrogance of his students. One of these kids mocks the DeVito character as a shtick artist, which is a reasonable assessment of Solondz; like so many of his movies, this one milks the device of an innocent child peppering an adult with searching questions, only to be rewarded with brutally candid and miserable explanations of the adult world. With Ellen Burstyn, Julie Delpy, and Tracy Letts.