Despite being thin on laughs and light on conventional romance, Sleeping Dogs Lie manages to be both warm and witty.
They call it a 'date movie', but if you’re trying to impress a prospective partner by subjecting them to 90 minutes of some tedious rom-com star’s wearisome pratfalls, then you might want to have a good, hard look at your basic social skills. Maybe you’re just not ready for that serious commitment yet.
Sleeping Dogs Lie, for its part, seems fully appraised of this state of affairs and at least does its best to find new life in this shallow gene pool.
Wholesome primary school teacher Amy (Melinda Page Hamilton) has put a pooch-friendly past behind her (there’s no polite way of putting it: she sucked off a dog) and is now getting serious with her studly beau (Bryce Johnson).
But, duped by the American fixation with self-regarding catharsis, she reveals this sordid secret to her other half. The film goes on to explore whether their, or any, relationship can withstand the rigours of such full and personal disclosure.
Bobcat Goldthwait (that crazy dude from Police Academy) is as restrained a writer and director as he was a manic performer, guiding his film with disarming sensitivity while coaxing adroit performances from a relatively unknown cast. Without any hint of high-handedness, he is also refreshingly open about which side of the honesty fence he comes down on.
Despite being thin on laughs and light on conventional romance, Sleeping Dogs Lie manages to be both warm and witty. It’s only a matter of time before it gets tagged as the date movie for people who, quite sensibly, don’t like date movies.
The dog spluffing film?
Sit. Stay. Good boy.
If your date still prefers Failure to Launch, perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be.