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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.43%
Worth A Look: 21.43%
Average: 1.43%
Pretty Bad: 35.71%
Total Crap40%

8 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Must Love Dogs
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by U.J. Lessing

"A film that should be taken out back and put down."
1 stars

Must Love Dogs earns points for being the first movie of the summer aimed at satisfying the cinematic needs of auditory masochists. This neglected minority will revel in the sharp, screeching banter of the detestable cast. However, if you are not a member of this faction, take care not only to avoid this film, but to avoid films showing in adjacent theaters as well. This is noxious stuff, folks.

Must Love Dogs (Iím guessing the working title was Yentapalooza) follows the excruciating life of Sarah Nolan (Dianne Lane), a divorcee looking for love. By day, she teaches at the only preschool in America that pays its teachers a salary of over $100,000, judging by the dťcor and size of her house. By night she listens to sassy banter and dating counsel from her impish sisters Carol (Elizabeth Perkins) and Christine (Ali Hillis.)

Occasionally, her wise Irish father, Bill (Christopher Plummer) stumbles into frame with his free-spirited girlfriend Dolly (Stockard Channing.) He recites Yeats and reminisces about his long-dead wife in a crisp Irish accent that makes the Lucky Charmsí Leprechaun sound like Seamus Heaney.

In contrast, Dolly is at her most charming when she shares delightful stories about her 14-year-old boyfriend whom she picked up on the Internet by lying about her age.

I was doing fine until the entire family began an impromptu sing-a-long of a Partridge Family song. Thatís when I was forced to suppress the urge to vacate my seat, break into the projection room, and strangle myself with the filmís raw celluloid.

Unlike this critic, Sarah never considers suicide. Instead she starts dating a flurry of men. We learn in a throbbing dating montage that practically all men on this planet suffer from cute but debilitating social disorders.

When the smoke clears, two men remain. Bob (Dermot Mulroney) is a recently separated father whose son attends the preschool where Sarah teaches. Jake (John Cusack) is a moody boat builder who is obsessed with Doctor Zhivago Sarah meets Jake when one of her Mephistophelean sisters covertly sneaks her dating profile onto the Internet.

Since High Fidelity and Being John Malkovitch, Iíve been waiting for Cusack to play a substantial role. Itís been five long, dull years. Currently, heís working on a production of Ibsenís A Dollís House thatís directed by Liv Ullmann, so cross your fingers everyone.

While Sarah woos both men, she gets advice from a range of idiosyncratic sources that include her drunken brother, the local butcher, her gay coworker and his boyfriend.

Why do gay couples never touch or show affection in movies like these? Iím convinced that homosexual characters in romantic comedies serve the same role that Eunuchs did in the ancient Middle East:nonsexual good listeners who exist to assist hapless rich women.

Itís no surprise to anyone when the actor and actress on the movieís poster end up together, while the actor who isnít displayed turns out to be a two-timing jerk and gets his comeuppance.

For those of you who forgo this review and decide, at your peril, to catch Must Love Dogs in the theater, a word of advice. Before the movie begins, check the projection room and make sure itís locked in case, like me, you lose the will to live.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/30/05 07:57:07
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User Comments

12/01/06 SabresFanatic Disappointed. Needed more of Cusack and Plummer 3 stars
7/10/06 Marty i liked it and i don't know why. diane lane's hot maybe? 4 stars
5/08/06 Diane Perkins boring, love diane and john but neither very good in this movie 2 stars
5/03/06 Ashley Hinz I won't watch this again. What a waste of Plummer and Cusack. 2 stars
1/29/06 Lily It's just one big "" commercial. 2 stars
12/26/05 zhivago john cusack is incapable of making a bad movie 5 stars
11/11/05 Jinx This movie stinks. Too much sex and innuendo. 1 stars
10/29/05 Rover Must hate contemporary "romantic" "comedies"! 1 stars
10/29/05 Mrs. Casey Donovan Diane Lane is an obnoxious skank. I'd like to stuff scorpions up her rectum. 1 stars
10/29/05 Allison Lafferty Anyone else notice "heroine" is an unlikeble self-centered brat? 1 stars
10/29/05 Jenny Tullwartz If it's really yourself you're mad at, break your own damn glasses, for pete's sake! 1 stars
10/15/05 Aaron Terrible. 1 stars
10/12/05 eddiejohns You must really love dogs to love this movie. It bites! 2 stars
10/12/05 Josh Swanson Total garbage. Not worth my time or in for a free wasted money! 1 stars
10/07/05 Don Your review is so spot on its funny, but I still loved the movie; Im in love with DL 4 stars
10/06/05 Susan I knew it! yucky! 1 stars
9/29/05 Sarah was ere my name is sarah darymple i loooveee emaweise 1 stars
9/21/05 karen romantic 4 stars
8/09/05 jada i'm just embarrassed for John Cusack, cheesy & hit every awful cliche, hated it 1 stars
8/05/05 ron abrams yawn. what a waste. 2 stars
7/31/05 Bonnie Roberts I wouldn't see it twice 2 stars
7/30/05 Naka Ungh. No. 2 stars
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  29-Jul-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 20-Dec-2005



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