Man About Dog

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"In the race for their lives they had to come from behind... doggy style."
  • 2003
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 6.4  (1,085)

Man About Dog is a 2004 comedy movie with an ode to Ireland's countryside and traditions, particularly the controversial sport of greyhound racing. Directed by Paddy Breathnach, the movie follows three down-and-out friends, 'Mo Chara' John (Allen Leech), Mo Chara' Ste (Tom Murphy), and Mo Chara' Kieran (Ciaran Nolan), as they journey to the prestigious betting race - the Shite Overhead Derby.

The trio of friends is virtually jobless, and their varied personal predicament certainly underscores this. John, for instance, is perpetually broke and steals cash from his ailing mother. Ste has a pregnant girlfriend, and Kieran is having an affair with the mother of his child, whose husband happens to be a mobster. The men, therefore, see a chance to make some quick money by winning the dog race.

Their journey, however, is filled with mishaps from the get-go. Their specially trained greyhound - Man About Dog - gets sold off to another random man by mistake. Now the three friends set out to retrieve the dog and to win the race in the process. Accompanying them is a mute mechanic, Dano (Sean McGinley), who helps them with their car troubles but has his reasons to want to join their mission.

The journey takes them across the varied landscapes of Ireland, from the picturesque hills and valleys to the seedy suburban pubs. Along the way, they meet a host of quirky characters, including a priest whom they try to scam, a flamboyant hairdresser (Fionnula Flanagan) who offers some valuable advice, and a retired greyhound racing legend named The Mutt (Pat Laffan), whose racing insights give the group an extra boost.

The movie combines multiple tones, from the laugh-out-loud funny moments to the poignant and emotionally resonant ones. The star of the film, Man About Dog, grows on the viewer with each passing scene, embodying the Irish spirit of resilience and fortitude despite the numerous obstacles thrown their way. The dog also adds an extra layer of depth to the characters - often showing their compassionate sides.

The performances from the main cast are all solid, with Allen Leech being particularly excellent as John, the charismatic but flawed leader of the group. Ciaran Nolan's Kieran, on the other hand, provides the perfect foil to John - he is quiet and reserved but incredibly astute. Tom Murphy, as Ste, is the heart of the trio, forever optimistic, and always wanting to make the right choice, even if it means breaking the law.

The movie's soundtrack includes some classic rock tunes from the '70s, giving the film a cool, laid-back vibe that captures the essence of the times. The pacing of the movie is brisk, although the group's journey through Ireland sometimes feels as if it's dragging a little longer.

Overall, Man About Dog is a charming and captivating movie that celebrates the beauty and quirkiness of Ireland while addressing some critical issues such as animal rights and the struggles of the working-class. It's a feel-good movie that will leave you grinning from ear to ear, and in the end, you'll wish you were a friend of Man About Dog and the group who tag along with it.

Man About Dog
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (1,085)