Year of the Dog (*** Good)
I'm not sure 3 out of 5 stars is right for this movie. It's a downer, or maybe it's not a downer depending on how you feel. If you go see it based on the trailer and the writer/director's history, then I think you will be surprised. Happy surprised? I don't know. If you think it's a Romantic Comedy based on the trailer, then think again. It is a good satire of just about every type of person.
The NY Times says, "�Year of the Dog� is funny ha-ha but firmly in touch with its downer
side, which means it�s also funny in a kind of existential way.
The lead is a woman. She's timid, shy, one of those invisible women that life passes by. You feel sorry for her. She works in a corporate world and smiles in a forced, unhappy way. Her major source of love is her dog and he dies. Is this funny yet?
The acting is very good: Molly Shannon is the lead. Laura Dern and Tom McCarthy are her sister-in-law and brother (uptight upper middle class). Regina King is a co-worker/friend (girlfriend is ready to get married). Peter Saarsgaard is the potential boyfriend and animal activist (it doesn't work out). John C. Reilly is the next door neighbor (a hunter who accidentally shot his dog). And there are more. Every performance is good, and every performance was a little off. I think maybe I take everything too seriously and need to find my funny bone again.
I recommend it for DVD. It doesn't require a big screen to enjoy it.