To make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

Do you think you'd enjoy watching dogs kill each other on film? Do you enjoy watching human beings kill each other on film? If you answered honestly, you probably said "no" and "yes". Assuming this is so, what do think the reason for this discrepancy would be? You know the deal with the humans is just make-believe and you think the deal with the dogs might just be real? Then let's turn it around. Suppose that you knew the deal with the dogs was make believe and the deal with the humans just might be real. Now, do you think you'd enjoy watching dogs kill each other on film? How about the humans? Answer honestly.

The best translation for this movie title, it has been decided by the cognoscenti, is "Love's a Bitch". However, it could also be just "Dogs Love". It's a hard movie to watch because the color is cheap like a Maaco repainted 10 year-old metallic blue Firebird or a bad video from the Fillmore East circa 1972 shot by an indulger. And it's long. Some critics have said that it's too long. I disagree. It seems to me that two and a half hours was just long enough to tell the three tales it tells.

The writer is Guillermo Arriaga. The moviemaker is Alejandro González Iñárritu and it was first released in 2001. It's Iñárritu's first film. It's shot in Mexico City and you can smell and taste the inner city squalor and claustrophobic tightness.

The symbolism is blatant and cheap, but it matches the colors in the film. My favorite cheap symbol is how the mindless renegade lovable killer dog reminds the homeless man how valuable life is, whether you're talking about dogs or people.

I think back to the best con job I've ever seen by one of those bearded sign-toting alcoholics at an intersection. He had his requisite duffle bag and his badly lettered "Will work for food" cardboard advertisement. But he had one killer addition. He had a medium size dog on a leash, and he was constantly paying attention to the dog, making sure it was comfortable and had water to drink. As the director of this film says, if we see a homeless man and a dog and our first thought is for the dog, what does this tell us about ourselves?

This was recognized as the best feature film at the October 2000 Chicago International Film Festival. It was also a prizewinner at Cannes. My guess is that this first film by Iñárritu will not be his best one, but it is the best movie I've seen in quite a while.