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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Peggy forges her boss' signature to donate funds to animal-rights charities but later apologizes. The heartbreak of losing her dog results in Peggy discovering her inner animal activist.
Violence & Scariness
Images of animals used in lab tests are shown on a computer. Disturbing scenes of a dog near death and its owner's overwhelming grief. Off-screen, an aggressive dog kills a much smaller one, and viewers see another crying pet owner. A small child is told that pigs and chickens are murdered to be her food.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple makes out loudly in front of Peggy. Layla wears low-cut tops. Peggy and Newt share an awkward kiss. Al's girlfriend does a sexy dance.
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Sparingly used: "bitch" (in the "dog way"), "piss," "cripple," "hell." Peggy compares a slaughterhouse to the Holocaust.
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Products & Purchases
Several brands are occasionally featured: Mercedes, Oompa Toys, Gymboree, and Victoria's Secret,
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Peggy gets drunk on New Year's Eve (while babysitting) and has wine on a date. Layla suggests getting "wasted" and offers Peggy the anti-anxiety drug Xanax before taking it herself.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this dramedy chronicles a pet lover's transformation into a hardcore animal-rights activist. The film portrays veganism and animal adoption positively and casts a negative light on game hunting, wearing fur, and eating meat. Molly Shannon's character is socially awkward and incredibly lonely, so there are some tear-jerking scenes of her after her beloved dog's accidental death. Children who have pets and/or love animals may be disturbed by photographic images of animal cruelty, a wall of mounted stuffed animals, and three instances of pets dying. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Who knew the SNL alum responsible for underarm-sniffing Superstar schoolgirl Mary Catherine Gallagher was capable of such a subtle, standout performance as an animal-loving wallflower? Thus far, Shannon's film career had been relegated to supporting quirky-friend roles, in which her manic energy and crack comedic timing got limited screen time. But throughout Peggy's transformation in this movie, Shannon is a vision. Every gesture and expression is perfectly calibrated to evoke pathos and sympathy for the sensitive, loving Peggy.
White, who's confessed that he's a pro-animal-rights vegan, could be construed as making an agenda film, but YEAR OF THE DOG is really a poignant chronicle of love lost and self discovery.
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Our Editors Recommend
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