Projections - Movie Reviews

My Dog Skip My Dog Skip

With this dog of a title, My Dog Skip brings us back to a gentler time.  Don't be fooled into thinking this is a Lassie flick!  This is a movie with something for all ages.

In what can only be described as a movie about the time and affection shared by a boy and his dog, My Dog Skip is sure to delight the young and bring nostalgic tears to the mature members of the audience.  This movie based on the Memoirs of Willie Morris and by all accounts is basically true.

Frank Muniz (Malcom in the Middle) delivers a great performance as Willie, an awkward and introverted young boy living in 1942 Yazoo, Mississippi.  The real star of the movie is a terrier named Skip.  This wonderful creature leads Willie to all that is important in life, almost as if he knows what's best for Willie before Willie does.

My Dog Skip is presented in a great part through the eyes of a child and it is that innocence that makes the movie.  This is not all a candy coating of life, there are the bullies we all encounter in life, the unobtainable goals and what the real world is all about.  Don't expect a sermon here, the use of a narrator in the voice of Harry Connick, Jr. brings a feel to the movie of actual life.  At times the narration can be a bit syrupy, but it is a very effective tool of linking the past to the present; the boy to the man he has become.

Kevin Bacon is Willie's father and Diane Lane is his mother.  Both Bacon and Lane deliver solid roles and even play well as a family unit.  The larger roll of the former school athletic star turned alcoholic due to WWII  trauma is delivered by Luke Wilson.  This piece of reality as well as the segregation of the time are delivered as a matter of fact.  I found relief in this, as it was just that - the facts of the time - rather than dwelling on them, exactly as a child would do.

With a Hardy Boys subplot having Willie and Skip trying to keep the town safe from a pair of almost comical moon shiners, you're sure to get a few good laughs.

There is a more serious side for the adults and it comes in the form of a question.  "Why in youth and childhood do we wish time would pass quickly?" asks Willie.

The answer is a simple one: because we don't understand the ramifications our wish.

Bring your children, grandchildren and enjoy this romp through childhood and revel in the fact you had the chance to relive it.

My Dog Skip

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