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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Year of the Dog

This Molly Shannon vehicle from 2007 has a great cast and great performances - that must be acknowledged. But it was not at all what I expected. I thought I would be seeing a touching story of a bereft pet lover, instead it's a 90 minute ad for PETA. No real emotional growth on the part of the protagonist, no real emotion at all in the film. And the supporting characters, while funny and quirky (especially Laura Dern as the control freak sister-in-law), are exaggerated stereotypes. The whole experience is completely unsatisfying, unless animal rights extremism resonates with you. Thank goodness I watched the Making Of featurette, wherein the director, Mike White, says he wanted to put a character front and center who would be in the periphery in most movies. O.K., that helps me understand what he was going for, but I still wouldn't recommend this film (except to a couple of friends and family members who are unnaturally obsessed with their pets).



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