Sleeping Dogs (3 stars)

(18) 89min

A sexual indiscretion - and that’s putting it mildly - kicks of this tasteless but sweet natured comedy about a girl who’s hiding a traumatising secret (again, mildly put) from her fiancé. But although this consistently amusing and frequently hilarious film, written and directed by American comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, boasts a trashy comic tone reminiscent of the films of John Waters, at heart it’s an astute and cute look at the use and abuse of truth and lies between lovers.

Melinda Page Hamilton (the evil nun from Desperate Housewives) is quite lovely as Amy, an unassuming young woman who’s blissfully happy until, at the insistence of her golden-boy husband-to-be, she reveals a secret from her past and is promptly dumped by her disgusted beau. When another man enters Amy’s life she no longer believes in full disclosure, and is guarded about her past even when taking the serious step of introducing her new boyfriend to her parents, a pair of straight-laced, God-fearing horrors from whom Amy has learned the troublesome lesson never to lie.

Goldthwait presents a good argument for lying to your loved ones, and he handles his cheeky theme with considerable comedic flare. The disintegration of family values and loyalty in the face of bare-naked truth is wince-inducing hilarious, particularly a scene involving Amy’s mother and the revelation she reveals to her daughter about dirty sex with a dead rock star. And there’s plenty of gut-wrenchingly funny dialogue that’s far too filthy to quote here, but that’s delivered straight-faced by the film’s game cast.

Sleeping Dogs

  • 3 stars
  • 2007
  • US
  • 1h 28min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Written by: Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Cast: Melinda Page Hamilton, Bryce Johnson, Geoffrey Pierson
  • UK release: 16 March 2007

Amy (Hamilton), an unassuming young woman, must choose whether to disclose her past sexual indiscretion (and that's putting it mildly) to potential suitors in this bad taste but sweet natured comedy. Trashy on the surface, at heart it's an astute look at truth and lies between lovers.

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