What an impressively touching film. “Dogs Bark” manages to squeeze in just about every human emotion and emotional problem in a scant eighty-four minutes and never manages to feel rushed. That in itself is a remarkable feat. Couple it with a story that actually makes sense and dialogue that is refreshingly real, and you have a winning feature.
There is no one “plot line” to this film. Instead, it examines the lives of people who become loosely knit friends by the film’s end. Before it reaches that point, however, it deals with issues such as body perception, the will to be free, the relationship between mothers and daughters, personal identity, spiritual quests and Marilyn Manson worshiping. Sound intriguing? It is.
Rebecca Fulton, the writer of this fine movie, gives us characters we know and care about. We know Faith (Jessica Gardner), the slightly heavy girl who hates her body but is far lovelier than even she suspects. We know Ruben (Brandon Howe), a confused teenager whose sister Daphne (Jenna Schmitz) defies all the cliché pretty girl traits. Fulton not only gives us these tremendous characters, she makes them three-dimensional. And while they aren’t sitcom material, they can be awfully amusing.
Unfortunately, “Dogs Bark” won’t appeal to everyone; at times it comes across as a little too amateurish. It also takes some time for it to establish its mood, but once that happens everything just falls into place. Some men may be also be turned off by the fact that the film seems to center around women. That’s their loss, though. Emotions make us human, and they are what makes this a film worth seeing no matter what genitalia you call your own.
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