Peggy (the unsinkable Molly Shannon) is a single woman with a beagle named Pencil, a dog as cinematically adorable as any movie canine has ever been. He dies, tragically, rather early in the film, leaving Peggy, who even in the company of Pencil was a loner, definitively lonely. Peggy is no social freak. In fact, among her group of friends and family—including a coworker (Regina King), brother and sister in-law (Tom McCarthy and Laura Dern), all of whom are a good deal more twisted than she (just in more socially acceptable ways)—Peggy is a perfectly reasonable personality. Peggy meets two guys: a neighbor, Al, played by John C. Reilly, whom some would call boorish and others just a dude; and a vegan animal rescuer named Newt (Peter Sarsgaard), who seems like a perfect fit for Peggy, and is many ways, but is no panacea for her human interactions either.
The theme of being stuck, emotionally or otherwise, runs through each of White's previous screenplays (
The Good Girl
School of Rock
are indicative, and in
Chuck & Buck
White himself played the emotionally (and psychologically) afflicted central character who can not or will not let go. Like Peggy, these are all characters that really need to move on but can't, at least not without a nudge. Most interestingly, when they do move on, there's no telling what will happen. It isn't always great, or even all that good. It's just…necessary.
Distributor: Paramount Vantage
Cast: Molly Shannon, Laura Dern, Regina King, Tom McCarthy, Josh Pais, John C. Reilly and Peter Sarsgaard
Director/Screenwriter: Mike White
Producers: Mike White, Dede Gardner and Ben LeClair
Genre: Romantic comedy
Rating: PG-13 for some suggested references
Running time: 97 min.
Release date: April 13, 2007 ltd