The first of four tales is about a couple (Tracy Letts and Julie Delpy) who bring home the dog for their son, Remi (Keaton Nigel Cooke). Having recovered from cancer, Remi's parents think it'd be good for him to have a dog. But neither parent is quite ready for the responsibility that comes with actually owning an animal. They're also not prepared for all the questions that Remi begins asking. Why is the dog getting neutered? Does it hurt? What does it mean to be put to sleep? Overwhelmed with the responsibility of the dog (Remi feeds the pooch a granola bar and dog diarrhea ensues), the pair send the Dachshund to the vet to be put down.
In the blink of an eye, we're in the office of despondent college professor and screenwriter, Dave Schmerz (Danny DeVito). He teaches and comments on the work of his writing students while trying to constantly reach his agent about the latest script he's written. When his agent leaves him behind, he realizes his best days are behind him and so he plants a bomb on the dog and leaves her in the building, while walking away. This poses an interesting question: If Dave also wanted to be in the building when the bomb blew it up, why the hell does he leave? Moving on, an elderly woman is getting a visit from her granddaughter, whose sole purpose is to ask her grandmother for thousands of dollars to help fund a boyfriend she's not sure is faithful to her.
The film is called Wiener-Dog, but the dog could have been taken out of the picture in three of the four stories and it wouldn't have made much of a difference. Solondz's dark humor doesn't work, the pacing is extremely slow, and the four stories feel incomplete and oddly thrown together. The only feeling that manages to flow all the way through is one of misery. Misery for the characters and for anyone who will sit down to watch this film.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5