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Film / Wiener Dog

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Wiener-Dog is a 2016 Black Comedy by Todd Solondz, which is also a sort of sequel to Welcome to the Dollhouse. The film follows the dramas of four people who all own the same dachshund.

  • Remy (Keaton Nigel Cooke) is a cancer survivor who gave the dog her titular name. When Wiener-Dog gets diarrhea, Remy's parents decide to put her down.
  • Dawn (Greta Gerwig) works at the clinic where Wiener-Dog was left. She takes her across the country with Brandon (Kieran Culkin), her ex-boyfriend/crush from junior high school. They leave Wiener-Dog with Brandon's brother and sister-in-law.
  • Dave Schmerz (Danny DeVito) is a screenwriter who works at a film school. He gets no respect from either his students or film agents. Fed up with his life, he tries to commit domestic terrorism.
  • Nana (Ellen Burstyn) is a bitter misanthrope whose granddaughter Zoe only talks to her when she wants money. She has a Heel Realization just as Wiener-Dog is killed in a car accident.


Tropes Found in Wiener-Dog

  • Angry Black Man: Fantasy has a pretty short fuse over the fact that his art isn't as appreciated as he was hoping it would be.
  • Black Comedy: Naturally, given that it's Todd Solondz.
  • Canine Companion: Take a wild guess.
  • Downer Ending: Wiener-Dog is run over by a truck. Then another truck. Then a car. Then a compact. The next time we see her, she's been turned into an animatronic art installation.
  • Embarrassing First Name: None of the protagonists are particularly good with names. Aside from the titular name, we've got "Doody" ("You mean like...shit?") and "Cancer" ("It felt right").
    • There's also Zoe's boyfriend Fantasy.
  • Flat Character: Despite being in every story, Wiener-Dog shows no visible personality.
  • Funny Foreigner: Averted. The Mexican mariachi band that Dawn and Brandon encounter have had their spirits crushed due to how much of a disappointment America turned out to be.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Dawn's about as close to heroic as the film will allow, as she saved Wiener-Dog from being put down just for being high-maintenance.
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  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Brandon's kind of a dick, but he loves his brother and he shows a genuine interest in Dawn by the end of their arc.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Remy. It's never outright stated, but his parents say he's a "survivor" and that his hair has grown back.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer mostly focused on the dachschund, and combined with the title, led some viewers to think the movie would've had more of the dog. But the actual movie, outside of the first segment, has the dog largely in the background or sitting still for many scenes, with the humans taking more of the focus.
  • No Respect Guy: Schmerz.
  • Overly Long Gag: Nana's dream has her meeting her younger self and being introduced to kinder versions of herself. The longer it goes, the funnier it gets.
  • Pet the Dog: Remy's father did this by giving him Wiener-Dog. He's pretty unlikable beyond that one gesture.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Brandon used to beat up gay and transgender people when he was in school and doesn't show the least bit of remorse over it.
  • Protagonist Title: The titular Wiener Dog, who goes between different owners
  • Satire/Parody/Pastiche: Of movies revolving around dogs.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The montage of a Remy having fun with Wiener-Dog is set to the melancholy "Clair de Lune" by Claude Debussy.
  • Wham Shot: Wiener-Dog's brutal death. Topped by an even more disturbing shot of her dead body used as an art installation.

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