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Year of the Dog - comedy DVD review
Year of the Dog rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 stars
Actors: Molly Shannon, Laura Dern, John C. Reilly, Peter Sarsgaard, Thomas McCarthy, Josh Pais
Director: Mike White   Studio: Paramount Home Video
DVD release: 28 August 2007   Runtime: 96 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Subtitles (English), Audio tracks (English, 5.1 Surround), Commentary by Mike White and Molly Shannon, "The Making of Year of the Dog," 3 featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel

Anyone with a passion - and especially those with a passion for animals - will appreciate the quirky, offbeat film, Year of the Dog. With intimations of both Because of Winn Dixie and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, forty-ish Peggy (Molly Shannon) lives a contented but nondescript life as a single corporate secretary and dog owner. Devastated when her dog Pencil dies suddenly, Peggy finds comfort in the company of cute Newt (Peter Sarsgaard) from the veterinarian's office. Through his influence, Peggy adopts a new dog, becomes active in animal rights, and turns into a vegan. Ultimately disappointed by Newt, Peggy's passions grow to be obsessions, jeopardizing her career as well as her limited connections with family and friends.

Although the movie could be considered a comedy, at times it is quite dark. Everyone in the cast has their own distinct neuroses, but when Peggy becomes unhinged, those around her offer support. Even her workaholic nerd boss ends up having some redeeming qualities.

This well-acted movie includes several notables in the cast including Laura Dern as the obsessive sister-in-law, John C. Reilly as the neighbor Al, and Regina King as the unlikely friend Layla. Written and directed by Mike White (Chuck and Buck, School of Rock) Year of the Dog offers a somewhat hopeful ending, although the audience is left to wonder whether Peggy will again be consumed by her passion for animals.
reviewed by Nancy Atkinson
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