In Christopher A. Hoffman’s short film, Your Dog Likes Me More Than You, homelessness is looming around the corner for Petey (Ian Hoffman). Petey is a gig worker living job to job as a dog walker in Brooklyn. On this fateful day, Petey is notified that the building he lives in was sold, and he has three days to move out.
Pressure comes at Petey from all sides. He’s barely able to handle managing daily life. His job as a dog walker is tenuous at best. What Petey does love is writing. In fact, he has a genre piece about a dog. Fortunately, one of his clients, Conrad (Benjamin Wood), is a literary agent. Petey proceeds to awkwardly ask him to read his manuscript, which ends in an awkward exit by Conrad.
“He’s barely able to handle managing daily life. His job as a dog walker is tenuous…”
Petey’s situation becomes worse after a fateful meeting with Conrad days later, which sets Conrad’s home situation spiraling downward fast. What Your Dog Likes Me More Than You does is focus on Petey’s mental state as the moment arrives to leave his home. He’s expertly able to capture Petey’s helplessness and the struggles to cope with being homeless. What Hoffman does is force us to empathize with him and understand those beginning moments of mental illness amongst the homeless.
Ian Hoffman is terrific as Petey. His portrayal sneaks up on you thanks in part to a good script. He first comes off as this lovable slacker. He’s trapped you into liking him and then your heartbreaks at the film’s poignant end. Hoffman also has a good eye for composition. Each shot is interesting to watch as he employs different techniques, including the opening moments when a GoPro (I assume) is attached to a dog at play. His storytelling style reminds of a lot of Terry Gilliam.
When we come across a homeless person, we usually meet them too far down the road of mental illness. Your Dog Likes Me More Than You gives us a glimpse into the beginning moments and present that moment in time when things could have been different if someone like you or me cared.
"…His portrayal sneaks up on you thanks in part to a good script…"