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Must Love Dogs Movie Poster

Must Love Dogs

Genre: Comedy/Romance
Rated: PG-13
Directed by
: Gary David Goldberg
Starring: Diane Lane, John Cusack, Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher Plummer, Dermot Mulroney, Stockard Channing, Ben Shenkman

Released by: Warner Bros.

In Short: Funny riffs, charming performances, and cute canines make "Must Love Dogs" a must-see movie.

Puppy Love
This Romantic Comedy Is No Dog
By Jenny Peters

Making 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.

These 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.

Christopher 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.

And 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.

(Updated: 01/23/08 NJ)

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