Sunday, May 13, 2007

Year of The Dog

From the mind of Mike White, who has given us "Chuck & Buck" and "The Good Girl" comes this very quirky comedy/drama about how just far our love for animals can take us.

Molly Shannon stars as Peggy, a woman crazy about her beagle "Pencil". When Pencil accidentally dies, Peggy's world crumbles until she meets Newt (a very good Peter Sarsgaard), a animal shelter worker and dog trainer. Newt introduces her to "Valentine", a German Shepherd with some behavior issues. Peggy adopts him and begins to spend more and more time with Newt as well. Animals take center stage in their relationship and Peggy's passion begins to overwhelm all aspects of her life.

The film also stars John C. Reilly as Peggy's neighbor, Laura Dern as her sister-in-law, and Regina King as her boy crazy girlfriend. Peggy's obsession with dogs leads to various odd scenes with all these characters as well as her boss, played by Josh Pais.

The dogs in the film are terrific and adorable. The story starts out light and fun but takes a more dramatic turn as the film goes on. Ultimately, it tells us that our happiness in life can sometimes be found in very unlikely places but we go where our heart takes us.

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