23 February 2012

Must Love Dogs (starring Diane Lane, John Cusack and Dermot Mulroney)

I'm not quite sure why 'Must Love Dogs' appeared on my wishlist; probably Amazon recommended it to me, based on other films I had rated and enjoyed. The reviews sounded reasonably positive, and it's in the light-hearted romantic genre, so I was pleased to receive it as a gift for Christmas.

So, with a free evening last night, we sat down to watch this with a guest. We expected something fluffy that would not require much thought, and, indeed, that's what we got.

The plot is about Sarah (Diane Lane) who is recently divorced. She works as a pre-school teacher, and is happy enough. However, she's part of quite a big extended family, who think she must be desperate for romance, so try to set her up with other men. Her family includes a womanising father (played by an aging Christopher Plummer) and a busybody sister Carol (Elizabeth Perkins) who sets Sarah up on a matchmaking website.

Of course, not all the guys who get in touch with Sarah are suitable... we see cameos of various dates with caricatured bores, geeks and even one who bursts into tears every couple of minutes. Sarah really isn't interested in another guy; she prefers to hang out with some safe gay friends who reassure and comfort her.

However, there are two rather nice men Sarah comes across who do appeal – the ‘incorrigible’ Bob, father of one of her students, and Jake, a perfectionist boat-builder who doesn’t seem able to make a sale. It's not immediately obvious which one she was going to end up with, although it soon became clear.

There were a few dogs thrown into the mixture, some lines that made us smile, and a happy, if predictable ending. All in all, 'Must love dogs' was a pleasant evening’s viewing.

Rated 12 in the UK, PG-13 in the US, probably due to repeated references to sex. However, there is nothing explicit in the film, no nudity, no violence, and - unusually - we didn't notice any bad language.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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