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Stars: Greta Gerwig, Danny DeVito, Julie Delpy, Kieran Culkin, Keaton Nigel Cooke, Ellen Burstyn, Ari Graynor

Director: Todd Solondz

A wiener-dog to us Brits is, of course, a dachshund; the bitch in question is first owned by a young boy (Cooke) recovering from leukemia. The dog, not house-trained, poops all over the shop - the camera dwells rather unnecessarily on its trail - and is taken by the boy's mother (Delpy) to be put down.

A sympathetic nurse (Gerwig) takes pity on the dachshund and flees with it, into the arms of her junkie ex (Culkin), and they go in search of his next fix.

So far, we've seen the dog pass from one owner to another but, after Gerwin and Culkin leave her with a Down's Syndrome couple, director Solondz seems to tire of the idea and abandons it, simply showing the dog with two other owners (DeVito, Burstyn) in the second half of the film.

We never find out what happens to most of the people involved, nor does the dog, which has no personality of its own, seem to have any particular impact on their lives. Like the film, it just waddles along.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Picturehouse. Technicolor.
85 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 05 Dec 2016

DVD review