What better way to bring out the darkness of freewill and humanity than with an adorable puppy? Wiener-Dog is not about a wiener dog at all, or at least not directly. It is about how people can be broken. Yes, even Danny DeVito (scratch that- especially Danny DeVito).
The awfulness of our characters are correlated with the pure innocence of our titular hero, the Wiener Dog. The wiener dog goes by a few names in the film, particularly Cancer and Doo-Doo (meaning exactly what you may think).
The film is rife with an undercurrent of humanistic villains. If you know anything about the work of director Todd Solondz, you know he is not willing or even able to shy away from the true grimness of humanity. In the film we have a possibly abusive atheistic mother who teaches her child a little bit of despair. We have a drug-abusing bully who confides in his mentally-retarded brother. We have another drug-abuser who visits her nanny once every half a decade to ask for money for her dreadful boyfriend's artistic adventures (and drugs, duh). We have a disillusioned failed screenwriter who possibly straps a bomb to the aforementioned puppy. And there's even long extended shots of diarrhea.
Yet, the film offers a little glimmer of hope- a light at the end of the tunnel with our throughway. Our adorable puppy, who bounces through various lives and shows that there is a small amount of hope in even the most depraved and unloved. Maybe.
Welcome to the Corazon team, Ryan Merkel. He is a writer who loves to watch movies. Naturally, this makes him a critic.