How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog (Mad Dogs & Englishmen) (2002)
Movie InfoSomewhere in L.A., Peter (Kenneth Branagh), a washed-up British playwright, struggles to duplicate his past glory as he surfs a foul-smelling tide of disenchantment. His wife, Melanie (Robin Wright Penn), manages to maintain an optimistic outlook even as she longs for the baby that her husband is hesitant to help her conceive. When Peter befriends Amy (Suzi Hofrichter), a neighborhood girl who has mild cerebral palsy, their friendship softens him to the idea of fatherhood and propels Melanie's maternal yearnings into hyperdrive. As if baby fever weren't enough, Peter is plagued by a seemingly benevolent stalker (Jared Harris), his neighbors' incessantly noisy dog, and the flighty cast and crew of his latest play. … More
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Critic Reviews for How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog (Mad Dogs & Englishmen)
Has an unusually high ratio of laughs per minute.
Falsehoods pile up, undermining the movie's reality and stifling its creator's comic voice.
Kenneth Branagh's energetic sweet-and-sour performance as a curmudgeonly British playwright grounds this overstuffed, erratic dramedy in which he and his improbably forbearing wife contend with craziness and child-rearing in Los Angeles.
Audiences conditioned to getting weepy over saucer-eyed, downy-cheeked moppets and their empathetic caretakers will probably feel emotionally cheated by the film's tart, sugar-free wit.
A wordy wisp of a comedy.
This is an agreeable but hardly challenging film, a movie perfect for a night by the fire when you want to curl up and relax.
A minor film that's no more than a trifle with some comic touches
...a good film that must have baffled the folks in the marketing department.
Kalesniko manages to keep all this stuff entertainingly cynical and doesn't let the ever-present sentimental goop overcome his story.
An offbeat, nimble and surprisingly winning little 'life comedy' [that] captures with entertaining aplomb the spry whimsy of a writer's brain in action.
A succinct effort to explore how our relationships force us to re-evaluate what we want out of life at the most inopportune and unexpected of times.
A film that will likely not "wow" anyone over...but entertaining from a character point of view
Run, don't walk, to see this barbed and bracing comedy on the big screen.
A surprising drama about the emptiness of cynicism when stacked up against the bounties of compassion.
Despite the top-quality talent and some occasionally witty shots on the vanity of Hollywood, this Dog simply isn't best in show.
This slight slice of L.A. life is distinguished by two fine, subtle performances.
This toothless Dog, already on cable, loses all bite on the big screen.
Audience Reviews for How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog (Mad Dogs & Englishmen)
[font=Century Gothic]"How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog" is about playwright, Peter Magowan(Kenneth Branagh), who used to be an enfant terrible of the theater set and is now nearing middle age. After a run of successful hits, he has been suffering recently through a string of failures and desperately wants a hit but difficult rehearsals for his newest play is not making anything easier. He is married to Melanie(Robin Wright Penn) who teaches dance and desperately wants to have a baby.(This is the second movie this week[/font] I've seen [font=Century Gothic]where Robin Wright Penn plays a character who wants to have a baby. Is this a trend or am I having one of those weeks?) Peter is much more hesitant about having a child. Add into this mix - a noisy neighborhood dog, new neighbors and a mysterious stranger.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog" is about a character finally growing up as he nears middle age which I can see but this does not necessarily have to include having children. This is almost a good movie and its only real strength is a superb performance from Kenneth Branagh. And it is too long by about twenty minutes and feeds on easy targets like morning news shows.[/font]
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