Monday, July 18, 2016

Weiner-Dog - Review

A cute lil' dachshund has a hard time finding the right home, as she is passed around the entire U.S. through a series of depressing human owners. WEINER-DOG sadly doesn't have the juicy, acidic humor of previous Todd Solondz films, instead being a straight up, no chaser misery factory. The few laughs it does possess come solely in the first story, where a rich couple speak way too candidly to their cancer-surviving kid about their doggy discrimination. The rest of the picture is nothing but bleak human dramatics with the dog being less important to the plot with each passing minute, all being handled in an unwieldy manner by Solondz's deliberately messy direction. The first half has a clear storytelling approach when weaving the doom and gloom with the hand-offs of the canine but the movie then brings forth a soul-sucking intermission break before then presenting two concluding segments where the dog is suddenly there and largely hanging out in the background. The small and talented cast tries desperately to make it all work but are often undermined by the random flairs of the director. Even the very best story, where Danny DeVito gives a quietly powerful performance as a NY film professor (wink, wink, do you get it?), falls apart when you ultimately break it down. Despite its vicious take at higher learning, this chunk of film is nothing more than Solondz creating a field of straw men just so he can rant and rave about unambitious millennials, entitled blowhards, and those that wish to make superhero movies. I frankly do kinda admire the film's somber tone and idiosyncratic ways but I truly know that I will more than likely never watch this again, nor give it a recommendation beyond the DeVito segment.


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