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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must-see for dog people
Here's a very brave and distinctly laudable attempt to show one of life's misunderstood and less mundane paths.
Without revealing any plot points it's safe to say that Peggy (Molly Shannon)is one of those people who relate more to animals than to people.

Within this film all the subsidiary characters doggedly follow their own narrow lifestyle choices as...
Published on 27 Feb 2008 by G. Thomas

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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Thought this was a comedy, it's not, it's really bad. Didn't like this film at all. Product did arrive very quickly though.
Published 17 months ago by Maggie Smyth


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must-see for dog people, 27 Feb 2008
By 
G. Thomas (Canterbury UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Year Of The Dog [DVD] (DVD)
Here's a very brave and distinctly laudable attempt to show one of life's misunderstood and less mundane paths.
Without revealing any plot points it's safe to say that Peggy (Molly Shannon)is one of those people who relate more to animals than to people.

Within this film all the subsidiary characters doggedly follow their own narrow lifestyle choices as "worker-drones", "breeders" or "nestmakers" without even recognising the validity of Peggy's way of being. When disaster strikes all they can do to comfort Peggy is promote their own well-meaning but ultimately alien lifestyle choices with absolutely no real appreciation of what she is actually going through.

Strangely this film is actively promoted as a comedy, even on it's own cover but I feel this stems from a total inability to shoehorn it into any convenient genre cul-de-sac. Be warned, this is not a cosy rom-com or laugh-out-loud throwaway farce. Underneath it is a reasonably serious film making a very valid minority point.

Where this film succeeds is in it's depiction of the lack of understanding of the "herd" for anything but their own selfish needs and how they thoughtlessly devalue, trample or ignore the needs and desires of those who believe that animals are just as important as people.
That's not to say the "animal-folk" are given a free ride here. Peggy makes some dreadful mistakes of judgement and her grief initially spirals into a kind of ill-considered tragi-comic crusade. Well intentioned she may be but she's also irresponsible and rash.

It's really refreshing to see this kind of character given a sympathetic treatment within a movie for once and not just relegated to the usual cameo or supporting role as the wacky or nutty friend.

I found that elements of the "comedy" jarred slightly within the context of the rest of the film and I felt that maybe the film stops slightly too short of taking a much braver stand. Ultimately, maybe this a good thing and that stops it becoming too preachy but it's still the reason for the missing 1 star.

Overall: A film for animal-people, especially a film for dog-people and one that offers something pretty much unique in today's cinema.
Just make sure that you're willing to get hurt along the way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark and often uncomfortable voyage of self discovery., 4 July 2010
By 
Ernie (Kent) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Year Of The Dog [DVD] (DVD)
Peggy is a seemingly contented single thirty-something, easygoing in nature and happy at work as an office secretary to a department head. She may not have the career she always dreamed of, a steady boyfriend, been married or had children of her own. But none of this bothers her; she has her health, a stable job, a nice home and Pencil her beloved pet dog.
Pencil is foundation of Peggy's life, a sweet natured constant companion and source of unconditional love, but Pencil runs away in the night Peggy discovers him seriously ill in a neighbour's garden the next morning and after rushing him to a local animal hospital he sadly dies. Finding herself without Pencil leaves Peggy feeling lost, lonely and unhappy with life and suddenly realising that she has been all these things for years.
When a member of staff from the animal hospital named Newt calls out of the blue and talks Peggy into homing a German shepherd with behaviour problems, she begins a relationship in which she adopts many of Newt's beliefs which includes becoming a vegan. And it's not long before she immerses herself in the world of animal rights which rapidly takes over her life and ultimately leads her down a path to self destruction.
This is another film which is strangely labelled as a comedy, and has a trailer that cherry picks the most light-hearted and quirky moments in the film, when in fact it's quite a dark, poignant and often uncomfortable tale of a women desperate to find some meaning in her life and is very similar in tone to Mike White's earlier film `Chuck and Buck'. One thing I did particularly like about this film was the touching element of understanding and forgiveness given to Peggy; even though her actions often upset and isolate her from those close to her they are unconditionally ready to provide help and support and the ending of the film leaves you questioning whether the life choices Peggy makes are for the better or worse.
If you enjoyed Mike White's earlier film `Chuck and Buck', Todd Solondz films like `Welcome To The Dollhouse' and `Palindromes' and Michael Cuesta's '12 and Holding' then this is well worth watching.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Important Film, 3 Sep 2008
This review is from: Year Of The Dog [DVD] (DVD)
Although billed as a comedy The Year of the Dog is not an easy film to watch. Saying that, it is a truly unusual film and is impossible to catagorize. The situation and the characters are deceptively commonplace but the subject matter is one that I don't believe has ever been so closely examined before in a film. The main character is a woman (fabulous central performance from Molly Shannon) who relates to and loves animals at least equally if not more than her fellow two-legged creatures. Actually she only truly realises and accepts this fact as the film unfolds. There are comic moments but ultimately The Year of the Dog is a truly thought-provoking, albeit uncomfortable piece of cinema and I believe an important film for people to see.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fab film, 15 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Year Of The Dog [DVD] (DVD)
this is a really good off beat indie flick a few quirky funny bits and a few sad bits which might make you have a bit of a cry, i would recommend for anyone that likes the off beat indie film genre
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 15 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Year Of The Dog [DVD] (DVD)
Thought this was a comedy, it's not, it's really bad. Didn't like this film at all. Product did arrive very quickly though.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dog Of A Movie, 21 Sep 2007
By 
Martin A Hogan "Marty From SF" (San Francisco Bay Area) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I apologize in advance for this negative review, but I wish someone could have saved me from viewing it. I have great respect for the talents of Molly Shannon, Peter Saarsgard, John C. Reilly and Laura Dern, but this film is scattered. One expects humor from the start, but only finds a pathetic, neurotic woman who can only relate to her dog and not humans. When her dog dies, she goes on a dating and dog saving spree at the urging of her friends and coworkers, but the plot just gets messier and messier. Instead of humor or sympathy, one is subjected to a woman losing her mind, breaking laws, irritating others and the viewer and then comes around full force with an ending that is so contrived and forced, you wonder if they just ran our of money or brain cells. No company would have rehired this woman for what she did. Not Funny. Quite sad. Unhinged. Hollywood - Hello??? I hope this cast goes on to better things, but I was simply stunned at how badly it was written and directed (thanks Mr. Mike White). And no, this cannot be compared to any film by Todd Solondz.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I enjoy looking at the disc jacket of this movie but can't quite say that about the film, 26 Oct 2007
By 
In order to do a successful film you need to fine and follow a good direction and that's where I thought I was heading until it took a turn without me. "Year of the Dog" opens on a field of frolicking puppies, then shows the dogs' humans circling the activity. Most of the humans are chatting among themselves, but Peggy (Molly Shannon) has eyes only for her beloved, adorable beagle Pencil. Peggy holds a generic job in a sterile office. She comforts her pedestrian boss as he suffers the slights of banal office politics. She's a sounding board for her workplace best friend. She baby-sits her brother's children and takes well-meaning advice from him and his wife. She's there for everyone, and Pencil is there for her: Pencil is her emotional core. When Pencil dies, Peggy's grief is overwhelming, leading to breakdown and collapse. She works through the void made visible by Pencil's death to eventually achieve a resolution to her personal crisis and a new direction for her life.

While the movie purports to show a "journey of personal transformation," as expressed in the press blurbs, it instead shows mental breakdown and tenuous recovery. Shannon's performance as Peggy. It's a far cry from the underarm-sniffing school girl of her Saturday Night Live past. Shannon, who has had wonderful turns with roles in Marie Antoinette and a short-lived Mike White sitcom, turns Peggy into a character with whom we easily empathize. Even her slip into the shallow waters of insanity seems forgivable when it occurs with such restraint and care.

White's writing, more than Shannon, makes it easy to understand Peggy. As he tells this story, Peggy is surrounded by people whose own blind love makes them do or believe things that even the always-supportive Peggy sees as peculiar. We can laugh at the moments when Peggy's sister-in-law (Laura Dern) won't let her child have a cuddly stuffed toy because of the fibers in the toy's fur or when Newt explains how his relationships with animals have always been better than his relationships with humans. Not once does it seem mean-spirited. We laugh because our own obsessions are probably just as silly to people looking in from the outside.

While I could have done without Peggy's Chaplin-esque soapbox moment at the end of the film, Year of the Dog halfly accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it while marching to the beat of a different drummer. What's more, White shows that his writing, in his hands or anyone else's, will always carry the quirky charm and humanistic tenderness that might put a smile on an audience's face. Other than that director's work succeeds only in coming in second to a good "After school Special." With unrelenting earnestness and ensemble support from the likes of John C. Reilly and Laura Dern, Year of the Dog was clearly intended as a message film extolling animal rights and the healing power of furry friends. Recommend to those who enjoy to be misled.
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1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A very poor film!!!, 13 April 2008
By 
This review is from: Year Of The Dog [DVD] (DVD)
Please do not waste your time watching this film. We wanted to see it after seeing the films trailer. As it turns out the 40 second trailer had all the best bits and the rest of the film is really boring.
Even my wife who normally likes this kind of film suggested we turn it off half way through. We didnt and endured the film until the end hoping it would improve. Needless to say it doesnt.
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Year Of The Dog [DVD]
Year Of The Dog [DVD] by Dale Godboldo (DVD - 2008)
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