Must Love Dogs—and this
by The Maven
and The Blonde
romantic comedy Must Love Dogs was directed by Gary
David Goldberg, who brought us the television sitcoms
“Family Ties” and “Spin City.” His forays into the
cinema include directing Dad and the 1995 film Bye Bye
Love. He adapted the screenplay for Must Love Dogs from
the novel of the same name, written by Claire Cook.
The movie introduces us to the whole Nolan
family during an “intervention” for recently divorced
Sarah. Her sibs and father feel it's time for her to
start dating again. After all, it has been eight months
(that seems pretty normal to us)! Diane Lane (Under the
Tuscan Sun and Unfaithful) portrays Sarah, who teaches
preschool and is not too excited about entering the
dating pool again (Well, who is)! Sarah's sister, Carol
(sweet but pushy) is played by the adorable Elizabeth
Perkins (Moonlight and Valentino and Cats and Dogs). She
decides to force Sarah's hand by posting a profile on an
online dating service with the enticing message stating,
“Voluptuous, sensuous, alluring and fun DWF seeking date
with man who MUST LOVE DOGS.” To make matters worse,
Carol uses Sarah's high-school graduation photo. Sarah
receives many replies, and the first she responds to
leads to one of the most touching moments of the movie.
She then embarks on a series of unsuccessful and some
downright pathetic first dates. (Join the club)!
Meanwhile, at the preschool she works for, Sarah
encounters the very sexy and recently available father
of one of her students. Bob, played by hunky Dermot
Mulroney (The Wedding Date and About Schmidt) appears to
be unthreatening, suave and too good to be true. Sarah
resists getting involved with a student’s father, as she
thinks that may be unethical. So, it's back to Internet
dating! Enter Jake Anderson, portrayed by John Cusack
(Identity and Runaway Jury and Joan Cusack's brother) is
a very intense, softhearted guy whose favorite movie is
Dr. Zhivago. (Now how bad could that be). During their
first meeting, he manages to inadvertently insult Sarah
several times, but she is still a little intrigued by
him and later agrees to a second date.
Amidst all this dating, Sarah is still
dealing with pressure from her family to find Mr. Right.
Even her father Bill, played by Christopher Plummer
(Alexander and National Treasure), is involved with
online dating. He has met Dolly, the brassy New-Age
sixty-year-old, played by Stockard Channing (Where the
Heart Is and Life or Something Like It). Even Dolly
tries to assist Sarah in the dating
Best of all is the dog, Mother
Teresa, who is a Newfoundland who’s actually afraid of
the water. For those of you not familiar with this
breed, they are water rescue dogs! Bob, the sexy hunk,
is not yet out of the picture, leading to choices Sarah
is not ready to make. Suddenly, dating is much more
complicated at thirty-five than it was at twenty! Will
Sarah choose correctly? Can her family stay out of her
love life? Most of all… will Mother Theresa ever learn
to swim and conquer her fear of the water? Go have some
fun and find out these answers for yourself!
Blonde: I don't care what all the other critics are
saying about this film. I cannot tell you HOW MUCH I
LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Must Love Dogs! This film was like
The Big Chill meets You've Got Mail meets Serendipity
meets Cheaper by the Dozen. It is funny, intelligent,
realistic, believable, fresh, honest and FILLED with
laughs. It is everything you would expect from a Gary
David Goldberg film, and then some! The brilliantly
witty one-liners are poetic and PROFOUND! For you
single ladies out there, the dating scene segments with
the loser guys were dead on and very humorous. For any
of you who are going through a bad time in your life,
take a few hours off and go see this terrific “FEEL
GOOD” movie. For me, this is definitely a “go see twice
film,” and I will do just that.
Maven: It certainly was a welcome breast of fresh
Blonde: I TOTALLY AGREE, but whose breasts are we
Maven: I SAID BREATH, NOT BREASTS (that you typed
wrong). YOU BLONDE! As I was saying, “breath” of fresh
air from superheroes, aliens and horror films. This was
a thoroughly conventional romantic comedy. The dialogue
was smart and delivered well especially from John
Cusack. However, I wasn't quite as enthralled as the
Blonde. I felt there should have been more romance
between Sarah and Jake. The chemistry was there but the
writing wasn't. Frankly, movies like Upside of Anger and
Something's Gotta Give dealt with adults
Blonde: Oh, back off! Okay, it was a little cheesy and
it didn't portray the romance of Dr. Zhivago. but…it was
fun and funny and can't a movie be considered great just
on the merit of the moviegoer laughing for two hours?
Moving along, I just loved the perfect casting in this
film. Most of the actors are among my very
favorites…Each of them enhanced the already lovable
characters in which they portrayed. You could not only
identify with the characters, but their dilemmas as
well. The big, close-knit family, each with their own
problems all told in a comedic way, was charming. I
loved how the family stood by Sarah, were worried, and
tried to help her find happiness. Mav, don't you just
love the adorably delicious Diane Lane. There is just
something about her that is so darn likeable and
appealing. She's not a beautiful girl, yet she radiates
the girl next-door qualities.
Maven: I think Diane is lovely, sexy and wholesome, and
it's much better to have her package as a whole than to
be an exquisite beauty. Looks vanish with age and take
so much maintenance to keep. It's too much
responsibility to be a raving beauty.
Blonde: AND BOY, don't I KNOW THAT FIRST HAND! It's hard
to be me!
Maven: Just YOUR ego ALONE would be hard to
Blonde: What does that mean?
Maven: You just explained it! Blonde? Hello?
The Maven: BLONDE, whatever.
Did you know that originally the role of Carol belonged
to Kyra Sedgwick, but because of scheduling conflicts,
Elizabeth Perkins got it! Which is probably why the
chemistry between the sisters was so good, as they are
real-life best friends.
Maven: BLONDE? BLONDE? Ok, your EGO is fine.
Blonde: I'm back. I just needed to get a manicure,
pedicure, facial and haircut. What were you saying?
Maven: Nothing, just talking about best friends!
The Blonde: Awww, I KNOW
WE ARE! Mav, didn't you just love the midnight manicure
scene? What a great idea that would be. Do they have one
in Boca? It would save so much time during the day. Now,
where were we? Something about how pretty I am? But
enough about me! I prefer to see Dermot playing the good
guy like in My Best Friend’s Wedding. He is adorable and
a fine actor. Ya know, Stockard always plays the gal you
feel sorry for. Even in The First Wives Club, her
character committed suicide! I wonder if her real life
is the same? Her life is such a mystery. I must add that
I liked Christopher in this film. He was a good daddy. I
melted when he told his daughter, “Now don't you put the
sunshine to shame!” How sweet is that? I don't know
about you, but every time I see Christopher Plummer I
want to just stand up and sing “Doe a Deer” or
“Edelweiss”! As for Elizabeth Perkins, I fell in love
with her ever since seeing her in “American
Story continued on bottom
Maven: UMM… Blonde, that would be JoBeth Williams.
Blonde: She wasn't in Must Love Dogs? It must be hard
Maven: Have you had your Starbucks today?
Blonde: No, why?
Maven: GOOD, then I will make that your excuse! I love
Chris Plummer too! He looked wonderful. It's obvious he
had some work done. Don't you find it refreshing when a
man takes care of himself?
Blonde: I have never stayed with one long enough to
experience it! I did however think it was refreshing and
cute how the sisters advised Sarah to wear a “boob
shirt” on her date. I use that expression,
Maven: Really, I have NEVER yet seen you wear one! Get
yourself a Grande, Triple, Espresso shot today! I THINK
YOU NEED IT!
Blonde: Cool, let's finish the review first. And… when
you take me on a date, I'll wear a “boob
Maven: WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH YOU?
Blonde: Without giving too much away, my favorite scene
was the emergency driving spree for a safe sex
Maven: We're allowed to say condom.
Blonde: NO, we can't say CONDOM! AND I won't say CONDOM!
Anyway, it was my favorite scene. You married people
don't understand that sort of desperation!
Maven: Thank God! How about that, Senator Bill
Blonde: Why? Does he understand that sort of desperate
safe-sex protection, like condoms?
Maven: No, he's the Republican who just came out
supporting government funding for stem cell
Blonde: That's GREAT and I hope HE supports safe-sex
too! Do you have any REAL gossip for us?
Maven: Well, I have heard that…
Blonde: YES…DO TELL!!!!! GO ON!
Maven: Renée Zellweger and Kenny Chesney are not as
“hot” as they were. That marriage may be going the way
Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett's marriage
Blonde: WHERE DID IT GO? Didn't Julia just have
Maven: STARBUCKS, WE'RE COMIN! I do recommend this film.
However, it is a chick flick. The few men who might
enjoy this might possibly be recently divorced. While
not a totally original story idea, I did think the topic
of adult dating after divorce was very on target. The
cast was actually better than the film. I rate this
movie a B- for better than average.
Blonde: I love classic romantic comedies and Must Love
Dogs is up there among my favorites. This VERY
endearing, funny movie is a MUST SEE for any adult
audience. With all the so-so comedies out there, this
was such a joy to watch. You will have fun and a
delightful movie going experience. I rate Must Love Dogs
a B+! For your snacks, go ahead and splurge. Enjoy
some Hershey’s Kisses, Almond Joy and a large frosty
drink. Have a great time!
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