A Classic Coming of Age Dog Tale

(Drama, Cult, Foreign) Permanent link

The Swedish coming of age film My Life as a Dog (1987) is both touching and lighthearted, successfully balancing sentimentality with multifaceted, dramatic themes (loss, death, sexuality, friendship, etc.). The director Lasse Hallstrom’s most impressive work to date (even admitting in a 2002 interview that he has yet to top it with subsequent movies), tells the tale of both the innocent blossoming of youth and the harsh realization that life’s twists and turns often result in both delight and sorrow. Set in both the Swedish city and the bucolic countryside, My Life as a Dog follows the puberty-saddled Ingemar, a precocious 12 year old that cannot seem to avoid trouble, a predicament that makes life difficult for his ill mother and antagonistic brother. Sent to live with his Aunt and Uncle during the summer months, Ingemar comes to grip with both the hard truths of life and its rich and beautiful possibilities. A Soviet dog abandoned in space, the sweet science of boxing, a confusing if not budding friendship/romance, eccentric townies and a controversial sculpture add peripheral character to this charming story of embracing setbacks with humor, love and barking.


My Life as a Dog

Posted by Ryan Gage at 09/07/2011 01:28:18 PM | 

I was so captivated by the quirky, gentle nature of My Life as A Dog, that whenever I see a film has been directed by Lasse Hallstrom, I want to watch it. (And I admit, I usually don't pay attention to who directed a movie.) Hallstrom may not feel he surpassed My Life as a Dog, but I think he did an excellent job with What's Eating Gilbert Grape? and Chocolat,too, both of which are available to borrow at KPL. All 3 would make for a great movie marathon!
Posted by: Christine H. ( Email ) at 9/10/2011 10:38 AM

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