Parents' Guide to

My Life as a Dog

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Sensitive subtitled coming-of-age movie for older kids.

Movie PG 1987 101 minutes
My Life as a Dog Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 18+

Not for kids

Way too sexual for kids. Too many weird sexual references all throughout the film. Very odd film.

This title has:

Too much sex
age 18+

not for kids

Although this movie is about kids, it is hard for kids to relate to. It is quite depressing. Very serious things happen and parts that lighten it up by humour and absurd situations are largely lost on kids. The more or less explicit references to sexuality are not for kids from 11 years, maybe from 16 or 17. Our kids did not enjoy it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (2):

Told from young Ingemar's perspective, My Life As a Dog is an affecting and authentic portrayal of a young boy's attempt to understand the adult world. The director shows us Ingemar's world through a child's eyes, so that the smallest events and the largest are presented as equally important. He does not know enough to be able to distinguish ordinary behavior from eccentricity, or to fully understand why a nude model would want a young boy as a chaperone or why a dying man would be so interested in underwear catalogues. His acceptance of everyone he meets is part of his appeal.

Ingemar does not have enough experience of the world to be able to understand what his mother's symptoms mean, or to wonder if she will die. Because no one told him how ill she was, he blames himself for her death. He does not have the opportunity to express his grief, which adds to his feeling of disorientation and his identification with a dog who is circling the globe in a space capsule. The only comfort he (and the audience) have is the sense that his ability to form relationships with the new people in his life will be a source of strength and happiness to him in the future.

Movie Details

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