Runtime: 1 Hour
and 31 Minutes
Here it is. The film critics around the world hailed as:
"THE film event of 1998!"
Okay. So maybe that was some other movie involving Shakespeare, or
Ryan's privates that received that acclaim. But it had to be said
for the sake of lunacy, if nothing else. What? You say this film came
out in 1999? Well then I must have confused it with some kid seeing
dead people, or a man knowing that he will be dead within a year's
time. Regardless, "Dog Park" has all the intangibles of
a great film. Dogs, a park, Natasha Henstridge, Luke Wilson, Janeane
Garofalo, etc. Nothing but quality can come from such a film, right?
For the most part yes, but it could have been better. Although the
same can be said for ninety percent of the movies ever made.
In most parts of the world if you want to find a significant other
you a few options: bars, grocery stores, libraries and, if youre
really desperate, church. All other options should be exhausted before
resorting to option number four. Nothing against you churchfolk, but
it just doesn't really seem like a bastion of dating activity to me.
Now let's get back to the matter at hand. In the town that this film
languishes in, the local dog park (Do these places exist?) is the
place to go if you want to meet your match. This is the place where
our good friend Luke Wilson likes to hang out with his friend Janeane
Garofalo and her dogs. He does this, because his girlfriend has just
left him and taken his dog with her.
I dont think anything could break a man more than having his
woman AND dog leave him. How this man goes on living is beyond me.
Maybe he manages due to the fact that one night at a singles bar,
after eating his pea soup, he makes the acquaintance of Natasha Henstridge.
She has just been dumped as well (You can tell this is a movie, because
I dont think there is a man living today who would be dumb enough
to dump her). They go back to Lukes place and just when things
are getting hot and heavy, she decides to worship the porcelain god.
Apparently she doesnt hold her liquor to well. Embarrassed by
her actions she leaves and begins avoiding Luke in every way that
she can. Inevitably they will find a way to get together, but the
fun is in seeing how they will get there.
It would be foolish to delve to deeply into a movie like this. It
exists solely to entertain and it succeeds the majority of the time.
The performances are what you would expect from a film like this.
Luke Wilson deadpans every line in his wonderfully monotone manner.
He even manages to refer to a night of sexual activity as being ninja-fucked.
Natasha Henstridge need do nothing more than look gorgeous to fulfill
her contractual responsibilities, but she manages to turn in a nice
little performance that is much the same as her work in The
Whole Nine Yards. Janeane doesnt have a lot to do
here, but she does well with what she has. Shes not in her usual
cynical bastard mode here, which is a nice change of pace from what
Im used to seeing from her. I cant say that there is anything
terribly spectacular about the direction to speak of, but it doesnt
need to be. It merely does its job by sitting there and allowing
the story to unfold in its own timely manner.
In the end Dog Park is a film that you have probably seen
before in some way, shape, or form. Many scenes you have seen done
before, such as the scenes involving the dog psychiatrist. They are
mildly humorous, but they were done far better in Down and Out
In Beverly Hills. The film does have enough inspired moments
of its own that it should keep you entertained from beginning
to end. Plus you even get to find out what it is to be ninja-fucked.
With information like that contained within, Im thinking that
Dog Park is a film that I would not want to go through
life without seeing at least once.