WIENER-DOG – Rated R

Wiener Dog

WIENER-DOG – Rated R

Starring Greta Gerwig, Kieran Culkin, Tracy Letts, Danny DeVito and Ellen Burstyn

 Venture if you will into another strange and particularly peculiar work of Writer/Director Todd Solondz, as we follow an adorable dachshund through the many trials and tribulations of her life…

Having been left at the pound for reasons unknown, Wiener-Dog is saved from peril by Danny (Tracy Letts) who figures that a new dog for his son Remi (Keaton Nigel Cooke) might just be the perfect addition to aid in Remi’s recovery. But sadly, Wife & Mom Dina (Julie Delpy) isn’t pleased at all with the new addition to their family…

When this new home for our faithful companion doesn’t end up working out, Wiener-Dog finds himself in the merciful hands of vet tech Dawn (Greta Gerwig), who can’t let them put Wiener down. When a chance encounter between Dawn and old school chum Brandon (Kieran Culkin) provides for an adventure not only for these two, but Weiner-Dog too, it seems that many adventures await all of them…

For the next stop in our adventures, we meet Wiener Dog’s new owner, Professor Dave Schmerz (Danny DeVito) who is teaching film at a University, while he awaits a response on his new screenplay submission from the studio. When Prof Dave’s career takes a left turn, he devises a plan – with the assistance of Wiener-Dog of course – which will finally help him leave his mark on the world…

Flash forward to the slow moving and not too exciting existence of Nana (Ellen Burstyn), as she fades away into oblivion with her maid, and her dachshund by her side. When granddaughter Zoe (Zosia Mahmet) decides to drop by, Nana is very reluctant to find out why, even though her instincts for what the reason is, of course, is dead on. Forced to face her diminishing existence one day at a time, Nana finds that the realities of her life, and that of her pet too, can change in just an instant…

I give WEINER DOG a rating of DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY. Having heard about a few of Solondz’s earlier “creations”, I was expecting this film to be “a little off the wall” as they say, but nothing prepared me for this intellectual and social mess of a movie.  I get that we are suppose to look at this film and interpret it through the many scenarios one animal goes through in its lifetime. And I also understand that this film is full of artistic interpretation of our world through Solondz’s eyes, but come on already! From the quirky predicaments and peculiar owners, to the totally bizarre intermission, to the really warped ending, I couldn’t get into WIENER-DOG, no matter how hard I tried. Not even the fondness that I felt for the dachshund, which was brought on from it reminding me of my in-laws hound of the same breed, could save this one for me. This film, for me, was nothing more than a waste of an hour and ½ of my life, that sadly, I will never get back…

Kathy Kaiser