Year Of The Dog review

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“I love my dog,” Cat Stevens croons over the scrolling end credits of scriptwriter Mike White’s wry and offbeat directorial debut. Not half as much as lonely secretary Peggy (Molly Shannon), does though. She’s so cut up when her pet pooch passes on that she goes out immediately and adopts another. Then another. And another… As in his script for 2000’s Chuck And Buck, White invites us to chuckle at his protagonist’s perversities before slowly winning us round to her warped point of view. From John C Reilly’s deer-hunting neighbour and Laura Dern’s baby-blinkered mom, to sexually ambiguous animal services officer Peter Sarsgaard, however, the writer-director’s real talent is in showing that we’re all freaks and geeks in one way or another. It’s just that some of us are better at hiding it than others...

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