The film Sleeping Dogs (intelligently but less catchily titled Stay in the US, also known as the equally clever and Sleeping Dogs Lie) has one of the best opening lines I can remember hearing in the cinema. Now opening lines are hard to get right, and the most memorable ones often come from a voice-over, which is the case here. After a quick dedication to the directors mother (which is more than mere vanity from the films perspective), we cut to our lead Amy reading Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, while her dog lies near here. Clearly bored by the cyber-punk sci-fi, her mind appears to wander. And then the voice-over kicks in (approximate here).


“My name is Amy and when I was younger I gave my dog a blow job.”

What follows is a gross out comedy that leaves American Pie and anything John Waters has ever made in the dust, a really rather clever and sweet relationship focused rom-com examining the importance of truth in a relationship. Directed by Bobcat Goldthwaite**, there are so many things that could have gone potentially wrong with this film that it is incredible how good it is. Indeed in the latest edition of Sight & Sound there is a real hand-wringing set of articles about the state of US independent film. Whilst Sleeping Dogs may not be all that groundbreaking, it is at least a film which cost $50,000 which gets everything right, in as much as the script came first, coupled with decent unknown actors. Indeed it is in that opening scene where non-graphically the lead Melissa Page Hamilton manages to suggest that:
a) she fancied blowing her dog
b) this does not mean she is the most perverted person in the world.

It is perhaps the harshest review that Snow Crash is going to get though. “That book was so dull I sucked off my dog Rufus.”

* As in the great dirty joke: “I got so wasted last night, I drank so much that when i got home I blew chunks”
“Hey, what’s so unusual about that, we all get sick now and then.”
“Yeah, but Chunks is my dog!”

**Zed from the Police Academy Films. Well, two (Their First Assignment) to four (Citizens On Patrol).