Ibsen is credited as the father of modern drama. Certainly this play backs that up. It looks at the realities of middle class life and has an emphasis on realism. It is also an attack on the falseness and hypocrisy of many marriages.
However, despite the necessarily truncated story and fast action of a play, the story moves to fast with the transformation of Nora at the end in particular moving too fast. It is also far too self-consciously messagey, radical and improving. It foreshadows the dominant form of serious drama of the 20th century. It is the forerunner of plays like Twelve Angry Men and A Raisin in the Sun. However, I'm not so big on that. The turn that Ibsen takes here is a turn for the worse. Almost all my favourite plays are earlier than A Doll's House and the play ushers in a decline of the theatre and the play as an art form.
The characters are forced, the dialogue ingenuinely real, and most of all a sledge hammer is used to drive the message home. It touches on some of the same material as The Awakening, but not nearly as effectively. I didn't find the characters to be real people.
Bland and not nearly as clever as it thinks it is.