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Brandon Judell

Sleeping Dogs Lie:


Melinda Page Hamilton and Bryce Johnson stars in Sleeping Dogs Lie. Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait.

John Waters meets "Sleepless in Seattle" in this sweet, at-times "tasteless" comic concoction about romance, reputation, the need to confess, and the yearning of society to pigeonhole everyone with a one-dimensional label.

For example, Mel Gibson will now be known more as an alcoholic anti-Semite than as a once attractive, slightly-more-than-moderately-talented actor with homophobic tendencies. Then take Michael Jackson. Please! No matter the rulings of the courts and his popularization of the Moonwalk, this rapidly aging youth will always be considered by the public at large as a bleached, much-re-chiseled child abuser. Then there's Bill Clinton, Henry VIII, and Pee-wee Herman.

It's clear that life has never just been a bowl of cherries for the eccentrically challenged. Why if Mother Teresa had been caught with her panties down just once with a leper, no amount of good deeds would have salvaged her former luster.

This brings us to the plight of Amy (Melinda Page Hamilton). In her youth, while she was wearing pimple cream, in a spur of the moment, possibly because nothing was on TV, she committed a sexual peccadillo with her pet dog.

Speed ahead a few years. Amy, now a lovely, vital young woman with a supposedly unblemished past, is about to get married. But then during premarital intercourse, her fiancé asks her to share something with him that she has never told anyone else before.

Uh-oh, is being completely honest with someone you love barking up the wrong tree for happiness?

Well, yes.

Amy quickly learns that veraciousness in some matters can even turn a mom's love away from you, let alone a beau's.

What's so wondrous about "Sleeping Dogs Lie" is that, aside from its rather alarming subject matter, it seldom goes to the dogs. Director/writer Bobcat Goldthwait, who's known for his rather loud, growling stand-up routines, here is a pussycat. As a helmer, he's going for character development, not shtick, and he succeeds with especially fine performances by Hamilton, Geoff Pierson, Bonita Friedericy, and Colby French. Expect to laugh aloud.

Yes, this here in fact is the darnedest, ultimate dating movie for those couples who are slightly unhinged.

Which brings us to a quote from the unhinged Fran Liebowitz that always bears repeating: "If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater. . . suggest that he wear a tail."

Writer/director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Co-producers: Sarah de Sa Rego, Michael Malone
ADR & Dialogue Editors: Ryan Rees, Jerry Brunskill
Cast: Melinda Page Hamilton, Bryce Johnson, Geoff Pierson, Colby French, Ernie Misko, Rebecca Avery, Heidi & Ella Miller, Cowboy

Copyright © Brandon Judell 2006

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