Molly Shannon gives a career-transforming performance in this charming and quirky comedy about the search for love. Peggy (Shannon) is a happy-go-lucky secretary who is a great friend, co-worker, and sister living alone with her beloved dog, Pencil. But a sudden turn of events sends Peggy into a dog-eat-dog world looking for the perfect companion.
A dark and often uncomfortable voyage of self discovery.
- Year of the Dog review by Shatner's Bassoon
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Peggy is a seemingly contented single thirty-something, easygoing in nature and happy at work as an office secretary to a department head. She may not have the career she always dreamed of, a steady boyfriend, been married or had children of her own. But none of this bothers her; she has her health, a stable job, a nice home and Pencil her beloved pet dog. Pencil is foundation of Peggy’s life, a sweet natured constant companion and source of unconditional love. When Pencil runs away in the night, Peggy discovers him seriously ill in a neighbour’s garden the next morning and after rushing him to a local animal hospital he sadly dies. Finding herself without Pencil leaves Peggy feeling lost, lonely and unhappy with life and suddenly realising that she has been all these things for years. When a member of staff from the animal hospital named Newt calls out of the blue and talks Peggy into homing a German shepherd with behaviour problems, she begins a relationship in which she adopts many of Newt’s beliefs which includes becoming a vegan. And it’s not long before she immerses herself in the world of animal rights which rapidly takes over her life and ultimately leads her down a path to self destruction. This is another film which is strangely labelled as a comedy, and has a trailer that cherry picks the most light-hearted and quirky moments in the film, when in fact it’s quite a dark, poignant and often uncomfortable tale of a women desperate to find some meaning in her life and is very similar in tone to Mike White’s earlier film ‘Chuck and Buck’. One thing I did particularly like about this film was the touching element of understanding and forgiveness given to Peggy; even though her actions often upset and isolate her from those close to her they are unconditionally ready to provide help and support and the ending of the film leaves you questioning whether the life choices Peggy makes are for the better or worse. If you enjoyed Mike White’s earlier film ‘Chuck and Buck’, Todd Solondz films like ‘Welcome To The Dollhouse’ and ‘Palindromes’ and Michael Cuesta’s ’12 and Holding’ then this is well worth renting.