Is honesty the best policy? This is a question that has been addressed innumerable times before, from comedies to dramas. Sleeping Dogs Lie attempts to put a shocking twist on this question, but the movie forgets that a comedy should be funny.

We learn the big secret of Amy (Melinda Page Hamilton) at the movie's beginning: One night in college, bored, Amy did something with a dog that I'm not going to repeat here. Jump ahead a few years, and things are going great for her: She's a kindergarden teacher, and her boyfriend John (Bryce Johnson) just proposed to her. The two head up to visit Amy's parents (Geoofrey Pierson and Bonita Friedericy), who see her as their flawless diamond. Amy particularly shines in comparison to her brother Dougie (Jack Plotnick), a grown man living at home and smoking meth.

When John presses Amy to reveal the craziest thing she's ever done, she tells him -- and things immediately start falling apart with John, her family, and her life in general. Was it a mistake to be completely honest? Will she ruin her friendship with Ed (Colby French) if she tells him? Can she patch things up with John and her family?

Sleeping Dogs Lie was written and directed by stand-up comic Bob Goldthwait, which makes the near-total absence of humor more surprising. There are virtually no laughs beyond the gross-out element of the secret, and the situations are cliches at best: uncomfortable silences, asking a man for his daughter's hand in marriage while he's chopping wood, etc.. The acting is one-dimensional, and a 180-degree turn to drama with a death feels like it should be part of another film. Let this dog of a film lie untouched -- avoid Sleeping Dogs Lie.

Overall Grade: F

Reviewed by James Lynch

1 comment:

digitaldoc said...

I had seen this film a while ago, and I agree with the review. Definitely not remotely funny.