An often genuinely funny mockumentary that pokes fun at Americans’ sexual insecurities, “Dogs in the Basement” manages to be forthright without being lubricious and exactly catches the dour earnestness of docus it spoofs. High-grade DV production, and the first feature by Gotham-based documaker Leslie Shearing, deserves a 35mm transfer for specialized distribution. Fest auds, especially outside the U.S., will lap it up.
Upscale young couple, Joe and Mary St. John (Hans Hoffman, Heather Smith), who’ve been married for seven years haven’t had sex for, jeez, over a month. Between footage of them being an all-American couple and voicing their upbeat thoughts on the soundtrack, the couple visits a sex therapist (Douglas Manes); a deadly serious Slavic urologist (Shearing herself, in some of the funniest scenes); a wacko Tantric sex group (“Now, let’s look at our own yonies,” exhorts one of the women); and even anger management classes. Smith is especially good as Mary, a blonde account exec who’s so self-obsessed, it’s painful. Running time is just about right before the joke plays itself out.