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MOVIE REVIEW:Must Love Dogs
The title is misleading, in that dogs do not really feature in this
story. This is a failed attempt to make a romantic comedy. The recipe:
add John Cusack and stir, as everybody likes him, since he is the
archetypal 'Mr. Nice Guy'. Diane Lane is OK as the love interest, so
add her to the mix. Think of a cute title. Keep stirring. But this
mixture does not gel. The reason for that is the appalling and rather
nasty assumption upon which it is all based: Diane Lane, having
divorced, cannot be a real person with a real life unless she pairs up
with another man without delay. So she is relentlessly pressured on all
sides by friends and numerous family to find a man, any man, just a
man. Then they can all relax and stop worrying about her. But this is
nonsense and is an insult to women. Why should a woman be a 'failure'
because she lives alone? Or does not go out and find a man? She is
pressured by her sister into having an internet date. Her sister sends
in the form. So she goes, reluctantly, and guess whom she meets? Her
own father sitting there with a yellow rose waiting for the girl he is
expecting from the internet to come along, which is her. This is meant
to be funny. Ha ha ha ha. But I am not laughing at the joke, I am
laughing at the pathetic film makers who concocted this offensive and
revolting film. May they all lose their relevant organs in punishment!
And may they never make a film again, please. I notice that the
director and co-author Gary Goldberg has made nothing since. He does
not deserve to. And as for Claire Cook, who wrote the novel, she should
hang her head in shame, although there is no sign that she has any.
I 'm a guy and I m not into rom coms but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Turns out IMDb users have rated it with 5.9. I 've decided that neither
public opinion nor the critics are a good way to gauge a film, both are
incredibly misguided, they don't have the appropriate intelligence,
emotiveness, taste or flair. (!! HECK EVEN THE INBUILT IMDb DICTIONARY
DOESN'T EVEN RECOGNISE THE WORD EMOTIVENESS AND THEY MARK IT IN THE
PREVIEW AS A MISTAKE…they suggest that it be replaced with
abortiveness, how about that for poetic irony) This might a bit on the
harsh side but honesty has that tendency. Only a a friend whose taste
you trust can really recommend a film.
Anyway, I digressed enough. This is a sensitive, very well plotted and
very funny film. I wasn't expecting this and I very positively
surprised. First of all all the actors here give fantastic, even John
Cussack who I thought had only been doing phone ins lately.
Diane Lane, well what can you say about Ms. Lane, she's such a treat,
such a dependable actress. Here she lets off her guard and delivers a
very difficult performance (that of a woman growing older, being
neurotic, being needy) in such a splendid way. She's so appealing here
being so vulnerable. I thought no one could hold a candle to Diane
Keaton in these types of roles but Lane here is a more mature Annie
Hall for the 2000s. Actually the film is very Woody Allen-y in a lot of
The sublime Stockard Channing gives a fine performance too (what a
fantastic comedienne, she could make watching paint dry entertaining,
one of the truly great actors on the screen these days.), and so does
Elizabeth Perkins, and the old master Christopher Plummer. But all the
other characters are so well acted too. Absolutely fantastic casting
Kudos for the direction here and of course the writing, there are some
minor lines that gave me belly laughs. Most of them subtle and
understated of course like much of this film. It seems unless you paint
with these awful broad dramatic or comedic strokes people don't get it.
And why would they. And what lovely dogs too!!
A real unexpected treat this film, a fun, sensitive, silly and honest
A light, pleasant movie. Nothing special. Rather wordy at times – not
that I dislike conversation but it wasn't always interesting
conversation. I grew rather bored with the "extended family" feel of
this movie – I couldn't get interested in most of these people milling
about and conversing rather too much about nothing much and wished
they'd go away. The young couple are quite attractive, you can be
pleased they get together in the end. There isn't really much emphasis
on the dogs so the title's vaguely misleading.
The best character in it is the character played by Christopher
Plummer. Much older than in his glamorous Sound of Music days, not so
spry now, but still spry enough to always grab your attention. I only
took the movie from the library because his name was on it….
I'd say don't waste your money going to see this movie or buying the
DVD nor even a library fee for it unless you are interested in the
actors. Just wait for it on TV.
6 out of 10 rather than 5 because it's completely inoffensive – no foul
behaviour, no violence, no thugs, no ill manners, no boring naked
panting and heaving and groaning on any beds, a nice change. I am
marking movies up these days if they avoid all the nasty stuff.
The main problem I have with some romantic comedies is that they tend
to become predictable and underdeveloped, and while on the most part
Must Love Dogs is charming and appealing, it does have that problem. I
will say that there were several things I liked about this movie,
particularly the performances of the actors. Diane Lane is a delight as
Sarah, while John Cusack is likable as always as Jake. They are well
supported by Elizabeth Perkins as Carol, a wonderfully restrained
Christopher Plummer (who is always excellent playing intense
characters) as Sarah's father and Stockard Channing as his lady friend.
The script did have some nice touches, like Sarah, Jake and
Sherry(Jake's rather clueless girlfriend in the latter half of the
film) talking about Dr Zhivago, but it is uneven on the most part.
Sometimes it was frothy and underdeveloped, as well as over-familiar,
but you can't help smile when Cusack and Lane are lighting up the
screen. The story was very nicely done, if a little predictable in
terms of plotting, and a little devoid of humour. (though I liked the
scene when the whole family break into song)The direction was good, if
rather amateurish in some scenes, but I have seen worse. Craig
Armstrong's score is very fitting with the pacing of the film, but I
personally think he's done better. Overall, a sweet and well-played
film, if a little predictable. 7/10 Bethany Cox.
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