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Year of the Dog

99 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Molly Shannon plays Peggy, a happy-go-lucky secretary who is a great friend, employee, and sister living alone with her beloved dog Pencil. But when Pencil unexpectedly dies, Peggy must find meaning in her life. John C. Reilly, Peter Sarsgaard, Regina King and Laura Dern turn in great comic performances as the significant people in Peggy’s life who give her ill-fitting advice.

Special Features

  • The Making of Year of the Dog
  • 3 Feauturettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel

Product Details

  • Actors: Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly, Peter Sarsgaard, Laura Dern, Regina King
  • Directors: Mike White
  • Writers: Mike White
  • Producers: Mike White, Ben LeClair, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jack Black
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2007
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000RZIGW2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,371 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Year of the Dog" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Appleseed VINE VOICE on April 29, 2007
Molly Shannon has made a career out "crazy", so it's not surprising that she shines here as the reclusive Peggy, whose closest and dearest friend is her pet beagle, Pencil. First-time director Mike White shows us how close they are, and how codependent Peggy is: they have dinner together, watch TV together, and sleep together, Peggy cuddling and hugging Pencil to her much as she might a boyfriend or husband. Pencil doesn't seem to mind.

But then Pencil is ripped from her life. Having trespassed onto a neighbor's lawn (John C. Reilly), he is found one morning lying on his side, unresponsive. A terrified Peggy tears off to the veterinarian, but it's too late. He's gone. White handles this delicate scene well. Instead of force-feeding Peggy's loss to us with frolicking scenes of a happy Peggy and a bouncing waggily-tailed Pencil, he simply shows her sobbing in her car in the vet's parking lot. It's raw emotion, and Shannon delivers.

The loss unhinges her, and she turns her mourning into a unique passion for life. Guided by an asexual clinic worker (Peter Saarsgard - if not brilliant as many are claiming, quite good in this roll) from her vet's office who helps place foster dogs, she is introduced to veganism, and PETA, amongst other "animal rights" activities, and she finds herself, suddenly, an accidental activist. Her newfound role disrupts the comfortable ones she has found herself in: spinster, gift-giving aunt, and trusted assistant to her boss.

I referenced above that Shannon has made a career out of "crazy", and while that's true, her more hilarious characters usually display their own unhinged grasp of reality through various forms of physical humor (Mary Catherine Gallagher on SNL, and Val Bassett on Will and Grace).
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Palma on October 10, 2007
Format: DVD
Screenwriter Mike White's "Year of the Dog," which marks his directorial debut, was underappreciated during theatrical release last spring despite its being chockfull of wit, charm, intriguing characters and a fiercely original plot. Molly Shannon strays out of comedic bounds and nails the lead character of Peggy, proving she has a wealth of dramatic talent that has gone largely underused. Now on DVD, her performance is a grand revelation.

Peggy is a typical wallflower working in a typical office building as a typical secretary. In her early 40's, her social calendar is an arctic wilderness yet she is acquiescent, for her supreme pleasure in life is devotion to Pencil, her impossibly adorable pet beagle. Pencil dies in a needless accident, however, and Peggy is sent into a harrowing tailspin. The death of a house pet may not seem more like an unfortunate event than a grand trauma, but viewers with this mindset are in for a surprise - the realization of Pencil's death is most rattling, and Shannon is a marvel to watch as her ensuing devastation twists and jerks throughout the course of the movie affecting all aspects of her life.

No one is able to empathize with her sad state, which puts her at odds with the world. Her friend and co-worker Layla, a Type A personality portrayed by the incomparable Regina King, insists that Peggy pursue a romantic life, loosen up and "stop shacking up with dogs." Her brother Pier and sister-in-law Bret, played with [...]-retentive relish by Thomas McCarthey and Laura Dern, expect her to move on quickly and avoid saying "d-e-a-t-h" in front of their first-grader. Meanwhile, her self-involved boss Robin, played to archetypal tight-wound perfection by Josh Pais, expects an early Christmas bonus should ease her troubles.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. Kutinsky on June 17, 2008
Format: DVD
Year Of The Dog is a type of movie that I grow fonder of the more I think about it, and that's because what won me over about it is what surprises me the most. I expected, I guess, Molly Shannon being another deluded middle-aged woman locked up in suburban patois and lunacy - it is, after all, a movie about a woman who can't come to grips with the death of a very small dog named Pencil. I suppose she is suburban, a little repressed, and a little bit of a lunatic, but as written by Mike White, she's also complicated and human, and more than that, itching to get out in true and genuine ways. I've loved Mike White's scripts like Chuck & Buck and School Of Rock because they take premises that shouldn't succeed but do because their funniest moments are their truest. The scene I remember laughing hardest at here is a moment between Thomas McCarthy and Laura Dern as Shannon's brother and sister-in-law rambling on about the PTA - it's a moment of great heart and humor because it is so accurate of the way that, truly, our friends and loved ones get lost in bourgeois america, but also of the heart and need to connect they still retain. Year Of The Dog follows Shannon's Peggy into the pits of depression over her dead dog, and her decisions verge on the lunatic, alright, but what makes the movie such an accomplishment is that these decisions aren't making us laugh at her like a character on Saturday Night Live, they redeem her - as Peggy becomes a one-woman crusader to love animals, she also unearths the passion that her office job and stale life can't provide. What makes me love Year Of The Dog so much - beyond a performance out of Molly Shannon that, I'm serious, was sensitive and adroit in a way that its year's Oscar nominees for best actress were not - is that it is ultimately a story about being true to your passions and not apologizing for who you are. By the end, Peggy's invigoration is your own.
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