Film review: Year of the dog (2007)

A film for dog lovers, but also other people can enjoy the story, as it among other things is about finding yourself and finding a partner in life etc. But I would say animal lovers are the primary audience.

The development of the main dog-loving character and the other character's reactions were interesting to watch.

The good thing about the film is it's not limited to only showing one side of the theme, but tells us about animal lovers AND animal haters. Also character's who are neither for nor against animals. It's a touching and caring little independent movie.

I think you will like animals more than you did before you saw the movie. The story felt a little contrived in places, which is my only criticism.

It feels like an Alexander Payne movie to me, so if you like his movies, I think you will like this one as well. The soft colours in the background reminded me of Dummy (2002), another indie gem in my opinion.

Director/screenwriter Mike White was screenwriter on a few episodes of the acclaimed and popular 1999 TV-series 'Freaks and geeks', which was given an average of 9.5 out of 10 by 12000 voters on IMDB.

6.1 on IMDB for 'Year of the dog' to me is one of the most inaccurate ratings I have ever come across!!! It deserves better than that. RT gave it 69%. Personally, I would give it an 8/10, trust me, it’s a good move.

Let me know what you think, if you decide to watch it ( :





  1. Love this movie, so adorable.

  2. I actually think the movie exists on a deeper level. While it's true that animal lovers will probably like this movie, I think the movie is actually kind of a critique of animal lovers as well. Molly Shannon's character finds a purpose in life through animal rights, but White is also showing us that it kind of ruins her life in the process. In my own review of it I described it as an "origins" movie, like you might have a superhero origins movie. Except this movie is an origins movie for a crazy cat lady. (Crazy dog lady -- but that's not really a term anyone uses.) White's complicated goal makes the movie stronger in my opinion. If he merely wanted to praise animal owners and make a movie that catered to their interests, I don't think it would be a very interesting film.

  3. Good point

    To me she doesn't ruin her life and isn't a crazy woman, as she has a choice to do whatever she wants and enjoys it. If a man can't deal with her interests then he isn't worth the time.

    But I would go so far as to say that once you are stuck with an animal or several, then it can seriously compromise your mobility + takes up a lot of your time. But again you can choose to give animals back, if you feel stuck.

    A lot of times animals are a comfort to those without a partner, maybe the animals rights thing is also a comfort for her.

    But I see what you mean that it could be a critique of animal lovers lack of a relationship, but I'm sure many animal lovers have partners, I know a few who do, anyway.

    I don't see animal lovers being offended by the movie. It would be a pity if White was saying directly people should avoid doing animal rights, as you say, it's better it's a deeper level.

  4. I think the best movies are movies where different people can take different things from them. If you are an animal lover, you will probably see a like-minded individual who is doing something heroic. If you think animal lovers are too extreme, you may see someone who is driven over the edge. Maybe only White knows what he really intended.

  5. I saw this over a year ago, but mostly my reaction was just: that was not what I expected.

    I think a lot of lower ratings, then, possibly had to do with the discrepancies between Expectation and Actual Movie, a lot of which I think was a fault in the advertising. the trailer and the posters and everything made this movie out to be a Quirky Romantic Comedy About Molly Shannon and Peter Sarsgaard (Or At Least John C. Reilly), so when actually seeing the film, it ends up being a disappointment for not fulfilling that expectation. which is a shame, because it actually was pretty good, just an entirely different kind of movie.

  6. @Erin
    I hadn’t thought about the expectations might be a romantic comedy, good point, so that could account for some of the low ratings. I admire filmmakers who like this dare to try something outside the norm that we haven’t seen a million times before. It’s called originality ( :

    Greenberg this year also avoids genre cliches , I think.

    Do try Dandelion ,more people should discover that overlooked indie.


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