By Josh Wolk
Updated September 07, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Suzanne Tenner

The Lonely Dog Lady could be one of her cartoonish SNL skits, but in Year of the Dog, Molly Shannon takes a welcome toned-down turn as Peggy, a secretary who becomes obsessively devoted to animal rights when her treasured beagle dies. Mike White (The Good Girl) spins a witty, wistful tale of Peggy’s search for purpose, and Peter Sarsgaard is hilarious as a manipulative dog trainer. EXTRAS In a commentary with Shannon, White says that the film’s flat look, with the actors talking to the camera, garnered criticism. But, he shrugs, ”I see those shots and they amuse me.” B+