YEAR OF THE DOG
Release Date: April 13, 2007
Starring: Molly Shannon, Peter
Saarsgarrd, Regina King, John
C. Reilly, Laura Dern, Josh
Pais, and Tom McCarthy
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 98 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Vantage
Director: Mike White
Executive Producer: Nan Morales and Brad Pitt
Producer: Mike White, DeDe Gardner and
Writer: Mike White
Address Comments To:John Lesher
A Division of Paramount Pictures and Viacom
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Phone: (323) 956-2000
Fax: (323) 862-1212
When Pencil dies suddenly, the story changes drastically. Peggy dates her neighbor (John C. Reilly) who hunts, drives a pick-up and can't wait to show her his trophies. She spurns him and falls for an animal rights activist, who has turned to celibacy after several unlucky attempts at love. Undaunted by another rejection in human love, she becomes a zealous activist herself through forgery, destruction of property and ultimately the swaying of a child's fragile perception.
The movie gets even more bizarre when Peggy rescues nearly 20 dogs about to be put down. The result of her benevolence is a hysterical scene of mayhem with the dogs running wild in her apartment, but the scene ends up being sad instead of funny.
Peggy goes to her brother for help and is comforted, but does not really change. She gets her job, her friends and her family back, but that's not what makes her happy. The last scene shows her on an animal rights bus waving a handmade sign. Perhaps that makes her happy.
So what are we supposed to think about this movie? Are we supposed to hit the pound and rescue all the dogs that are about to be put to sleep because it’s easier than rescuing humans? The movie doesn't tell us. YEAR OF THE DOG is at cross-purposes with itself and leaves us with no clear picture of what it is trying to say.
YEAR OF THE DOG doesn't tell viewers what to think of it. Are we supposed to hit the pound and rescue all the dogs about to be put to sleep because it’s easier than rescuing humans? Or, is Peggy just a sad figure who can’t relate to human beings so she invests all of her being into animals? The movie is at cross-purposes with itself and leaves no clear picture of what it is trying to say.