Year of the Dog (2007) starring Molly Shannon, Laura Dern, Regina King, Thomas McCarthy, Josh Pais, John C. Reilly, Peter Sarsgaard directed by Mike White Movie Review

Year of the Dog (2007)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Molly Shannon in Year of the Dog (2007)

A Dog of a Movie

For Peggy (Molly Shannon) she lives behind a smile; she goes to work and buys people cakes whilst listening to their woes, she listens to her best friend go on about her love life whilst quietly aware that her friend's boyfriend is a cheating rat and she puts up with her sister and husband who are over protective parents. She can do all this as when the day is over she will return home to her dog Pencil, her best friend who never leaves her side. That is until one night Pencil strays in to the neighbour's garden and ends up dying after eating poison. It wrecks Peggy's life and despite her friends and colleagues trying to help her nothing does. That is until she tunes into what vegan vet Newt (Peter Sarsgaard) tells her about dogs and suddenly Peggy's life becomes extreme as she goes all animal rights activist.

I watch far too many movies, so people tell me, but it makes me well aware of what I like when it comes to movies. It also makes me alert to a movie that will probably not be my sort of thing and when I saw "Year of the Dog" with it starring Molly Shannon and being written and directed by Mike White the alarm bells were already ringing. But whilst White's sense of humour is not my sort of thing and sadly find Shannon often annoying I never pass up on a movie in the hope that maybe it will be better than I expected. "Year of the Dog" was not better than I expected and in fact was 97 minutes of my life I would love to get back.

So as I said White's sense of what is funny is not always in tune with me and the quirky characters he puts in place in his movies often end up being annoying because of their off beat style. That is the first thing which caused me to contemplate switching off as not a single character in "Year of the Dog" is real or at least not from the world I live in. The over sympathetic nature of Peggy, the over protective sister and the overly sexed work colleague were all more extreme than real and that is without mentioning Peggy's neighbour with a love of hunting and an ignorance of people's feelings.

But it is not just the oddball nature of the people in "Year of the Dog" which caused me to drift as what happens also left me thinking about other things. The whole destruction of Peggy's already dysfunctional life just didn't entertain me as the quirkiness and darkness of the offbeat story just ended up being boring. As I said Mike White's brand of humour and in truth his style is not generally my sort of thing and I watched this more out of hope that this would be different to what I had expected but in the end was what I expected.

What this all boils down to is that "Year of the Dog" is the sort of movie which if you life off beat humour could possibly entertain but if you prefer routine, even normal humour then this is likely to be a slog of a movie.

Tags: Dog Movies