In Los Angeles, a depressed writer named Solo has writer's block after a successful first book of which he's ashamed, and he's broke, thanks to a year in classical psychoanalysis. In their ...
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In Los Angeles, a depressed writer named Solo has writer's block after a successful first book of which he's ashamed, and he's broke, thanks to a year in classical psychoanalysis. In their final session, his therapist suggests that he gets a pet, so Solo buys a scrawny terrier that adds to his problems: the dog isn't house-trained; he owes money to a thug who's angry; at a dog park, he begs a woman he's just met to pay the veterinarian's bill when the dog is bitten; and his friend Casper has introduced him to a persistent rich girl who decides that she wants the dog. He could sell, settle his debts, and return to life with a clean carpet, or he could figure out why he doesn't want to part with the dog. Written by
When Solo and Casper are having breakfast in the diner Solo's plate keeps switching position on the table between shots. First it is in front of him, then it's to his right, and then it switches back again. See more »
Let me start by saying I don't recall laughing once during this comedy. From the opening scene, our protagonist Solo (Giovanni Ribisi) shows himself to be a self-absorbed, feeble, and neurotic loser completely unable to cope with the smallest responsibilities such as balancing a checkbook, keeping his word, or forming a coherent thought. I guess we're supposed to be drawn to his fragile vulnerability and cheer him on through the process of clawing his way out of a deep depression. I guess we're supposed to sympathize as he stumbles through a series of misadventures seemingly triggered by his purchase of a dog, but in reality brought on by his own contemptible nature. I didn't get the slightest hint at any point that Solo ever possessed any redeeming character, which became disturbingly apparent when he failed to feed his dog for a few days. No spark of humanity or glimmer of conscience gave me hope that he would ever realize his life is so utterly miserable because he's a self- absorbed, self-pitying lowlife. I didn't develop any connection with this character. He didn't seem to care, and so neither did I. I actually wanted him to get his kneecaps busted at one point.
The dog was not a character in the film. It was simply a prop to be used, neglected, scorned, abused, coveted and disposed of on a whim. So be warned. Even though "dog" is in the title, this film is not a romantic comedy for dog lovers.
Scott Caan's role is amusing and believable as the oversexed best friend/cad. Don Cheadle is sincere and magnetic - I always want to see more of him on screen. Mena Suvari was delightfully repellent. Lynn Collins role of a "stripper with a heart" was well acted, but the character was simultaneously absurd and clichéd, not to mention there was zero chemistry between her and Ribisi.
Romantic? Hardly. Comedy? If you say so.
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