Review: Dog Days (2018)

Dog Days (2018)

Directed by: Ken Marino | 113 minutes | romance, comedy | Actors: Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Adam Pally, Eva Longoria, Rob Corddry, Tone Bell, Jon Bass, Michael Cassidy, Finn Wolfhard, Ron Cephas Jones, Thomas Lennon, Tig Notaro, Lauren Lapkus, Jessica St. Clair, Ryan Hansen, Tony Cavalero

Are you a sucker for feel-good movies? Look no further! ‘Dog Days’ by director Ken Marino is the ultimate recipe for an hour and a half of fun. Complete. A smile, a tear, nice players and a solid script. Have you done it before? Yes, but director Marino knows how to bring it in such a way that from the start you think: “Yep, this movie is cute!” He thought, ‘You know what? I’m mixing up a dog movie and a cream bowl. With sweet dialogues, dialogues without a cross word. Actually too perfect and too predictable, but still: it works like crazy.

‘Dog Days’ is fun, sensitive, heartwarming and yes, a little cheesy, but that doesn’t hurt this movie. Oh yes, it makes a difference if you like dogs, because they are the icing on the cake. Because, you have dog movies and you have dog movies. Dog movies where the dogs can talk? Well, usually that is an accumulation of faintnesses, which is often impossible to get through. But, if you let the dogs be their own fun selves, like Archie, Sam, Mabel, Gertrude (with cute pink helmet) and Brandy in this movie, the audience will soon be over. You have to be a very rough shell, so as not to shed a tear every now and then.

An ensemble comedy with dogs as a common thread: what’s not to like about that? With the dogs as the catalyst, we witness a dog birthday party (Sam), a search for a missing dog (Mabel), adopt a dog (Gertrude) because you have a ‘crush’ on a vet and a real ‘dog date’ (Sam and Brandy). In between, Archie has to be placed at a babysitting address for a few weeks, because his owners have ended up in the rush of a twin birth.
You can tick off the almost-too-perfect matches in this film one by one and yet it doesn’t bother: talk show host Elizabeth (Nina Dobrev) and her new sidekick Jimmy (Tone Bell), the childless couple who adopt a girl (Eva Longoria and Rob Corddry) , brother Dax (Adam Pally) and sister Ruth (Jessica St. Clair) who can’t live with and without each other and the ‘grumpy old man’ (a convincing Ron Cephas Jones) who thaws by a wit of 16 springs and the fun ‘ coffee girl’ (Vanessa Hudgens) who eventually chooses the nerd (Jon Bass) after all.

There is also plenty to enjoy in the supporting roles: Elizabeth’s psychiatrist (Tig Notaro) and the slightly too personal weather forecaster (Phoebe Neidhardt) are hilarious. And, wait for the credits, because even then you will still get nice bloopers. In short: ‘Dog Days’ is an ‘easy on the eye’, wonderfully looking away film. truthful? No, not that. But wouldn’t we all want to live in such an ideal world? With dogs, because that is an indispensable ingredient: Love is a four-legged word. A must-see for dog lovers, but other audiences will also find no dog in the pot with ‘Dog Days’….

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