In this series of blog posts, not only will we take a look at a variety of films within films, but I've somehow gotten access to reviews from Dimension X (a world not so strange, where THEY can't believe our world has produced Swiss Army Man), presumably from an alternative Siskoid who has seen the entire things.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei
Precis: A May-October romance between a pet owner and her traumatized dogwalker.
For one thing, the New York experience is subverted by details that make the movie feel like a Canadian production. Note the Tim Horton's coffee in the double-entendered scene where the two lovers meet for the first time. Is this New York, or Toronto-as-NYC? Perhaps the film is in black and white less for budget concerns or artiess than to hide the Spring's left-over snowbanks. Be wary of foreign product placement, junior directors.
But setting that aside for the time being, there's a certain indie temerity in casting the younger man against the older woman without making a meal of it, and it's that approach that prevents the film from falling into cliché. Marisa Tomei - watchable in anything - is mothering without being a mother, except to her small dog, while Daniel Radcliffe carries off his usual boyishness with wounded aplomb. A man held back by personal tragedy, but not too much.
Ultimately, this is about a man who cannot commit to a single dog and walks them all, contrasted to a one-dog woman, fully satisfied by the "handful" her pooch represents. As they move together, her fullness completes his "never enough". It's a story we've seen before, but couched in a new metaphor, one steeped in the themes of loyalty, unconditional love, and going out to the park on a regular basis.
Watch what clips have filtered through to our universe (courtesy of Trainwreck, 2015):
Final rating: 3.5 bones out of 5
Would see if it were made: Yes.