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Dog Days (2018) - Movie Review

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Dog Days (2018) - Movie Review

3 stars

With a paper thin plot, erratic tone, and humor that rarely elicits so much as a slight chuckle, Dog Days, the latest from TV funnyman Ken Marino, is a film that should not work. But it does. Thanks to the furry faces, sloppy tongues, and wagging tails of its canine stars, Dog Days is a “bone-a-fide” crowd-pleaser certain to entertain the masses, six to sixty. It is a film by dog lovers, about dog lovers, and for dog lovers. All others need not bother. You just won’t get it.

Written by Erica Oyam and Elissa Matsueda, the story follows the intersecting lives of several Los Angeles families and their dogs. As each of the five threads plays out and the paths of everyone cross at one point or another, each character grows and matures with the help and companionship of their shaggy counterparts. Though this technique of interwoven character arcs is certainly nothing unique as many films have done it better, it is all leading up to an extraordinary event that has the entire town rallying around a local animal shelter fundraiser. Certainly the perfect device for the film’s climax, and an even better platform to raise awareness of the plight of animal adoption centers nationwide.

"A film that should not work. But it does."


The film’s primary focus is on morning news show anchor Elizabeth (Nina Dobrev) and ex-NFL-football player Jimmy (Tone Bell). Their dogs get along great. But them? Not so much. But we all know that dogs have that special ability to soften hearts, so… you guessed it, the two fall in love.

Then there is local coffee shop barista Tara (Vanessa Hudgens) who, after volunteering at a nearby rescue shelter finds herself torn between the desires of the nerdy shelter owner Garett (Jon Bass), and hot veterinarian Dr. Mike (Michael Cassidy). This thread introduces us to the film’s most recognizable pooch that is featured so prominently in the film marketing and trailers - Gertrude the pink helmet-wearing chihuahua. Whenever the humans falter, cut to Gertrude. She gets us every time.

When out-of-work musician Dax (Adam Pally) is asked to take care of his pregnant sister’s (Jessica St. Clair) labradoodle named Charlie, the heartless slacker softens and learns a bit of responsibility along the way.

The film’s beating heart resides in the stories of recent widower Walter (Ron Cephus Jones), whose furry friend has gone missing, and the teenage boy (Finn Wolfhard) who volunteers to help find her. When Walter’s dog is eventually picked up by frazzled adoptive parents Grace (Eva Longoria) and Kurt (Rob Corddry) – whose newly adopted daughter is struggling to adapt to her new environment, it is, of course, the pesky pug that allows the couple to eventually bond with their daughter.

Dog Days (2018) - Movie Review

Though Marino keeps things moving along briskly, at roughly two hours, his film is a bit long for a light-hearted rom-com with puppies on its brain. It might have made sense to knock off one of the five storylines to trim the thing down to a svelte 90 minutes. Marino isn’t stupid, however. He knows that whenever things begin to drag, point the camera at the dogs. It works every time.

As the film wraps up in a heartwarming, off-the-leash finale that features moonlight, fireworks, refreshments, a band, and everyone connecting around a worthy cause, only the most crusty of old curmudgeons will deny the emotions. Yes, it is way too simplistic, overly formulaic, and content to rest its laurels on resolutions we see coming from a mile away. But it is also pleasant, non-offensive, undeniably charming, and the doggone perfect love letter to our four-legged friends.

Dog Days (2018) - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG for rude and suggestive content, and for language.
Runtime:
112 mins
Director
: Ken Marino
Writer:
Elissa Matsueda, Erica Oyama
Cast:
Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Finn Wolfhard
Genre
: Comedy | Romance
Tagline:
Dog Days follows a group of interconnected people in Los Angeles who are brought together by their lovable canine counterparts.
Memorable Movie Quote: "What is it about dogs that brings us so much joy?"
Theatrical Distributor:
LD Entertainment
Official Site: www.dogdaysthefilm.com/
Release Date:
August 10, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Dog Days follows a group of interconnected people in Los Angeles who are brought together by their lovable canine counterparts.

Dog Days (2018) - Movie Review

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Dog Days (2018) - Movie Review

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