Year of the Dog
(2007), directed by Mike White
I just came across this movie earlier this year. I don’t usually go for comedies, but this was a really good movie. Nobody does humor quite like Molly Shannon.
The movie is basically a comedy about a Peggy, an awkward woman who just doesn’t fit in or make friends very easily. When her dog is accidentally poisoned and dies, she goes to the animal shelter to adopt another one. This fateful accident leads her down the road to animal rescue, animal rights, and eventually to plot the (unsuccessful) murder of her neighbor.
Peggy falls into to the most stereotypical behaviors of animal rights people, often deftly exaggerated with humor by Shannon. Although it is a comedy, it is still a very poignant movie, and no matter how extreme Peggy’s behavior becomes, Shannon plays her in such a way that the viewer never looses empathy or understanding for the character.
It is an enjoyable movie, and I would recommend you find time to watch it.
This is from Amazon.com:
Molly Shannon gives a strange and strangely touching performance in Year of the Dog. A quiet secretary named Peggy (Shannon, Superstar, Good Boy!) goes into a tailspin when her beloved dog Pencil dies, leading her to flirt with dating, veganism, animal rights activism, and violence. But though the plot may sound shapeless, the movie is sharp and focused, cutting to the bone of every character's obsessions and neuroses. Yet, though extremely funny, Year of the Dog isn't strictly satirical--writer/director Mike White (writer of The Good Girl and Chuck & Buck) doesn't pass judgment on his characters, no matter how irrational or appalling their behavior may be. The movie has a cool empathy, a wistful yet unsparing glance at human weakness. The entire cast--which includes Laura Dern (We Don't Live Here Anymore), John C. Reilly (Boogie Nights), Regina King (Ray), and Peter Sarsgaard (Boys Don't Cry)--walk a fine line between painfully real and comically absurd. Fans of distinctive directors like Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex, Happy Endings) and Todd Solondz (Happiness, Storytelling) will enjoy Year of the Dog. --Bret Fetzer