BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003517Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The Dog Problem
DVD disk
Sep 5, 2007 By: Mathew Plale
The Dog Problem order
Director:
Scott Caan

Actors:
Giovanni Ribisi
Scott Caan
Lynn Collins

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When a lonely writer (Ribisi) leaves therapy, he buys a dog, which also attracts the attention of a number of characters, including a sexy stripper (Collins), who also falls for the novelist.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
After penning a not-so-well-received novel, our hapless hero, the applicably-named Solo (Ribisi), spends the book’s “riches” on therapy. Now, after a year, his funds (which he must limit due to a loan shark) are low and he’s forced to discontinue the service.

Under the advice of his ex-psychiatrist (Don Cheadle, who co-starred with director/star Caan in the Ocean’s Trilogy), Solo buys a dog, which proves to be quite a handful—he should’ve bought the “wee-wee pad,” as Brad the petshop clerk advised. But the lonely Solo grows to adore the mutt, if not just accept it. Unfortunately, so do a pair of cardboard tough guys, a greedy canine collector (Mena Suvari), and one cute stripper (Collins).

Even with the ample cast, this is Ribisi’s show and he’s delivered not only the jittery, funny performance he’s honed his entire career, but at last a genuinely impressive one. Playing wonderfully off Ribisi is director/co-writer Scott Caan as the less than dependable, tail-chasing Casper who likely took up photography to perform bestialic spoofs of Antonioni’s Blow-Up.

Caan, as director, is confident in his movie, which sidesteps the indie quirks for deserved laughs. Sure, The Dog Problem takes no original route down the awkward-guy-meets-cute-girl or developed sub-characters paths, but with such comical takes from Ribisi, Caan, and especially Collins (who exceeds the script’s limitations), this is one breezy, tightly wrapped watch.

The Dog Problem isn’t the sort of movie that will shout at you from the new release section (assuming it reaches there), but (and ignore its bad title) the sharply written gem, with its engaging performances, hip Mark Mothersbaugh score, and sheer enjoyability, is worth keeping an eye out for.
THE EXTRAS
Filmmaker & Cast Commentary with Scott Caan and Giovanni Ribisi: Writer/Director/Co-star Caan comes off more cultured than one might suspect, citing Truffaut and Godard as influences on The Dog Problem. The duo’s relaxed approach makes for a breezy listen, even if Ribisi gets comically distracted by the movie itself.

And a handful of Trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The Dog Problem, which played a couple festivals and banked less than I have in my wallet, isn't likely to be getting much attention. But it's a fun little comedy, held together by wonderful performances. Don't let this one slip under your radar.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or