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Wayners Reports he Must Love Dogs

Published August 8, 2005 in Movie Reviews
By Wayne Aronsen | Images property of Warner Bros
Must Love Dogs Christopher Plummer in Must Love Dogs
So what makes a Romantic Comedy work? Good writing. Must Love Dogs proves it. Gather up as many good actors as you want but without smart, fast-paced dialogue, the comedy will sink faster than John Cusak's Portuguese skull-as in row-boat.

Must Love Dogs Review

The time sailed by, in this case, because we had fun. All this despite the occasional presence of dogs. To me, cruelty to animals is forcing them to act; leave the animal kingdom to Walt Disney or National Geographic.

If you wanted me to spill my guts, just tie me to a chair in front of the video with Charles Grodin and his slobbering St. Bernard co-star. I would turn in my own mother.

The character of Diane Lane, eight months divorced and still out of circulation, endures the prodding of her sister, Elizabeth Perkins-she alone is worth hearing- to get back in the fast lane. Perkins's comment: "honey, you haven't even reached the on-ramp".

Must Love Dogs Ben Shenkman and John Cusack in Must Love Dogs
The men, except the irrepressible Christopher Plummer-who actually recites a poem by Yeats and gets away with it-are minor. It's girl talk! What boy can keep up with the pace of their chatter? Cusak's character runs as fast as he can. Dermot Mulroney's doesn't, and he gets cut.

Thankfully, the dialogue remains classy--no needless offensive language. Internet dating services are the vehicle-throwing people together. The bad dates are quick. The coincidences are acceptable (Christopher Plummer running into John Cusak on the street). We just wanted them to get together by then and for God's sake, John, don't cut up the boat!

So put aside the memories of tasteless, offensive comedies (and I say that heavily). No Ben Stiller nonsense or Gwyneth Paltrow sappiness. Just classy women putting on a good show.

Thanks, Goldberg/Todd and Todd for sparing us the message and keeping to what you did best: providing your cast with a top-notch script.

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Wayne Aronsen
Sources: Images property of Warner Bros

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