My apologies to Marianna Palka, but this is a terrible movie. I am fully able to accept the plot where a woman suffers a mental breakdown and takes on the personality of a dog. Yes, she literally thinks she is a dog, and not a friendly family dog, but a mean, aggressive one. She has a terrible and unfaithful husband who leaves all the stress of running a household and caring for 4 kids squarely on her shoulders. It appears she takes on the personality of a dog because dogs have no responsibilities.
What makes the story unbelievable are the characters. The dad is such a bad dad that he doesn't know the name of his kids' school. His four kids go to a private school so he is obviously paying several thousand dollars a year. I can understand a bad father being out of touch, but he is spending that kind of money and he doesn't know where his money is going? That's pretty hard to believe.
Then when the older kids get dropped off at middle school they ask for lunch money. He hands them a $100 bill and asks, "Is this enough?" Really? Is the writer trying to show the dad is that far out of touch? Or is she trying to show us how frantic the dad has become since mom's disappearance.
The two older kids are in middle school. Yet, when mom starts acting like a dog those two young teenage kids think it's funny. The way the scene is directed it is not funny, it is disturbing. Mom has been missing for a whole day. Dad and the mother's sister come into the home after frantically searching the neighborhood for her, and the kids are laughing doing kids things like playing video games. The kids happened to locate their mother. She is in the basement, stripped of all her clothing, covered in her own fecal matter, and literally acting exactly like a vicious dog. If this happened to my mom when I was 12 or 13 I would be incredibly upset and worried. I wouldn't be laughing at the situation.
He's also been married to his wife for a while as the oldest is 13 years old, yet he doesn't know the name of his sister in law's husband. His wife's sister does not live across the country. She lives in the same city, and the two sisters appear to be very close. Despite this the dad doesn't know the name of the man his sister in law has been married to for years? That's ridiculous.
When it becomes obvious the mom needs professional help, the family doctor is called in. He refers them to a professional who deals with these sorts of situations. It's not said in the movie, but this other professional must be a psychiatrist. A real general practitioner with an M.D. is not going to refer an obviously mentally disturbed person to a self-help guru. Additionally, this second professional can write prescriptions. After the examination the sister asks the psychiatrist for an official medical term for her condition. The doctor's answer? "Acting like a dog." Not funny, but stupid. No real psychiatrist is going to say that.
I love a good goofy movie. Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell movies have their place. In a good, silly movie the dad can be so bad as to not know the name of the kids' schools or their own brother in law. The silly psychiatrist in the silly movie may have an official diagnosis of "acting like a dog". However, this movie isn't directed like a silly movie. It's trying to be a realistic, dark comedy. Sadly, it cannot be said that the director didn't see the writer's vision and tried to turn a silly movie into a more realistic comedy because the director IS the writer.
This week Stephen Spielberg said movies on Netflix should not be eligible to win Oscsars. Don't worry Stephen, they're not going to win any Oscars.
Comedy / Drama / Family / Thriller
Comedy / Drama / Family / Thriller
The provocative tale of a woman (Marianna Palka) who snaps under crushing life pressures and assumes the psyche of a vicious dog. Her philandering, absentee husband (Jason Ritter) is forced to become reacquainted with his four children and sister-in-law (Jaime King) as they attempt to keep the family together during this bizarre crisis.
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December 23, 2017 at 08:52 AM