Indie movies can be a joy; especially indie comedies. Indies tend to take more risks (they cost less and don’t have businessmen meddling in the creative process) which means they also tend to be more creative. One such quirky, indie comedy that I absolutely LOVED is called “The Dog Problem.” I bet you’ve never heard of it… hence the reason I am writing this article.
The 2006 film stars Giovanni Ribisi who I really liked in “Gone in 60 Seconds” and “Middle Men.” I also really like Don Cheadle. Ribisi plays a depressed, lonely writer (cliche, I know) who goes to therapy for a year, and Cheadle plays his therapist. A simple, off-hand comment Cheadle’s character makes to Ribisi’s character changes everything. He simply asks Ribisi’s character, “have you ever thought about getting a dog?” Ribisi then gets a dog (the coolest character in the whole movie), and a slew of wacky and memorable characters show up to cause problems for this writer and his lovable dog… who never gets an actual name.
This comedy is directed by Scott Caan (“Gone in 60 Seconds”, “Oceans 11”) who also plays Ribisi’s best friend. You can tell that Caan wrote and directed this film because his character is more suave, charming, and successful with women than anyone in real life is. It is even a bit unbelievable at times, but I would probably do the same thing if I was acting in a film I wrote and directed.
The acting is great all around. There are some laugh-out-loud moments. It has more heart than you expect. The dog is awesome. The story, although far-fetched, is a lot of fun. And the dog is awesome (did I say that already?).
If you are a fan of indies, get this film on Netflix or wherever you can find it. If you aren’t a fan of indies, you should be… and go get this film on Netflix or wherever you can find it. Don’t let your young kids see it though, because it is rated R for nudity, bad language, and violence.