Down Dog is a tale of mostly unpleasant behaviour starring Jason Durr and Nick Moran. They play Frank and Bill, two fathers who work together for a sex toy company. Both of them have poor relationships with their children. Bill’s vulgarity seems endless – he is a man who can address his daughter as a whore. Frank is more bearable, but not by very much.
To try and improve his character and get him to interact more with his son, Frank’s ex-wife (Orla O’Rouke) devises a plan. It’s the sort of plan that even in a comedy should have had the filmmakers thinking that stretches belief too far. But soon after the start a doctor is throwing his career away by untruthfully telling Frank he is dying.
Frank reacts to this news with no disbelief. He shows no surprise that he is not sent to specialists for further tests or that there is no paperwork to read. Thinking he only has year to live he has time to reassess his life. Do things improve between the two? They couldn’t get worse – although Frank’s idea of suitable subjects for conversations with his offspring remain off-kilter.
Down Dog is co-written by Simon Nye, creator of Men Behaving Badly. This film will not be as successful as that sitcom, taking the characters’ behaviour too far past recognisable into highly unlikely. An attempted comedy, it is filled with insulting and demeaning dialogue but its greatest failing is not being amusing.