Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sleeping Dogs Lie (2006, Bobcat Goldthwait)

"A romantic comedy in which a girl's relationships are destroyed when she reluctantly reveals a past indiscretion."

The past indiscretion is that she blew a dog in college. This is very important to the film. In case if you forget this fact the film will remind you at least 40 times before the hour and 20 minutes are up.

There is a reason I put both covers up. It turns out that the dvd will have two different covers. The top one is the "comedy cover" and the bottom one is the "romantic cover". This is a prime example of why Sleeping Dogs Lie is a bad film. It just can't decide what exactly it wants to be. There is not enough comedy to call it a comedy and there is not enough genuine romance to call it a romance. When they mix together the film seems extremely forced and cliched. That's right, a film that deals with a girl who blew her dog comes out cliched. I thought it could never happen and it did.

I had heard a lot about this film since it went into competition at Sundance. How this film got into competition and how why some people liked it is beyond me. It's everything that is wrong with indies at times. It tries to be creative. It's not. It tries to be cute. It's not. It tries to be very daring. It's not. It tries to be something great. It's not.

The acting ranges from horrible to pretty good and the actors never seem that comfortable. When they are forced to interact with eachother for dramatic scenes the feelings come off as fake and very rough. It feels like people just reading a script. The story/plot seems to be a great launching point for an original raunchy film. With an odd mind like Bobcat behind everything it seems that it would come off as either a very off the wall comedy or a surprisingly good and sweet film. It doesn't.

This is my main problem with the film. At times we are seeing a very random off the wall comedy scene and then out of nowhere we get some very dramatic scenes, that don't come off as dramatic as the film wants to. and then we are back to comedy. The jumping between the two comes off,once again, seems very forced.

The comedy is another huge problem. Once again, with a plot like this we should have gotten some brilliant dark comedy scenes but we don't. The comedy results in dogs coming out every 2 minutes and the characters looking at the dog and doing a ": /" type of face. It's funny the first time but this gag keeps on going and going and going and going. The film even ends with this gag.

All the characters are so cliched and the story begins original and within the first 10 minutes turns into a cliche fest. Sleeping Dogs Lie tries really hard to be something good. Instead, the film comes off as a film that is just really trying hard but never succeeds.

- *

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