Lawn Dogs 

When I first saw the box of Lawn Dogs, the film did not appeal to me. The blurb did not particularly draw me in either – “22 year old Trent Burns is a “Lawn Dog”...10 year old Devon Stockard decides to make him her best friend”. It sounded dull, and did not seem the sort of film that would appeal to me (although that was the case with one of my all-time favourite films). The film centres around a new girl on a rich housing estate and the man that mows their lawn, two outsiders that become friends, a relationship that to the other residents of the estate seems to be more than just simple friendship. 
There is also a fairy-tale view to the film, with Devon’s frequent voiceovers based around the witch Baba Yaga, and for me these generally worked, but I felt the ending of the film was damaged by over-use of the idea. The film starts fairly slowly, and becomes more enjoyable as the characters are developed. Despite this, I enjoyed the film far more than I thought I would at first glance. 
I don’t like using this word, but some parts of the film were so genuinely nice that I couldn’t help but like the film, for example the scene where Devon and Trent stand on top of Trent's car dancing and shouting at the local police was one of my favourites in the film. The film was also a lot funnier than I expected it to be; Devon’s mums’ affair was a personal highlight. The sub plots and main characters also really added to the film, making the housing estate community seem more believable, and also adding many of the more entertaining parts of the film. 
The characters become so well defined and likeable (or in some cases, intensely dislikeable, such as Devon’s father) that towards the end of film, you start to worry for the fates of the characters, which makes the actual ending of the film more powerful, although I thought it was damaged by the aforementioned fantasy side to the film. 
Overall, I would say that Lawn Dogs was definitely a pleasant surprise and despite its flaws I think it is a film that would be hard not to enjoy. 

Hal Chavasse 
Graded by: 
Mr. Horner

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