Directed by: Gary David Goldberg
Starring: Diane Lane, John Cusack, Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher
Plummer, Dermot Mulroney, Stockard Channing, Ben
Released by: Warner Bros.
Short: Funny riffs, charming performances,
and cute canines make "Must Love Dogs"
a must-see movie.
Romantic Comedy Is No Dog
a good romantic comedy is a fine art, one that often seems
to be completely lost on the current generation of filmmakers.
Where's Preston Sturges when we need him? But every now
and then someone gets it right, finding the perfect alchemy
of script and actors, and it's a delight to watch. That's
what writer-director Gary David Goldberg has done with
"Must Love Dogs," a romantic comedy combining
modern-day Internet dating with two accomplished actors—Diane
Lane and John Cusack—who have great chemistry as
well as excellent comic timing.
two are terrific together, each playing a recently divorced
(and emotionally wounded) character whose family and friends
push them into the dating world again. And like Preston
Sturges' great screwball comedies of the 1930s ("Sullivan's
Travels," "The Lady Eve," "The Palm
Beach Story") it is those secondary characters, the
family and friends, that elevate this farce way above
typical modern fare.
Plummer as Lane's widowed father (who is also working
the Internet for dates) is hands down the sexiest senior
citizen we've ever seen, and Stockard Channing shines
as well as his sixty-something Bohemian love interest—leather
pants and all. Elizabeth Perkins hits the right tone as
Lane's meddling older sister, and Ben Shenkman steals
every scene he's in as Cusack's slightly pervy pal.
then there are the wonderful dogs! "Must Love Dogs"
refers to a line in Lane's Internet ad, and the movie
is full of them. She's got a huge, lovable black Newfoundland,
while he's got a goofy little West Highland Terrier. Incidentally,
the dogs are really good actors too, and they both play
an integral part in making this film an enchanting and
amusing romantic comedy (without a single sappy or corny
moment) and a movie that both women and men alike are
sure to enjoy.