Must Love Dogs
Release year: 2005
Director: Gary David Goldberg
Screenwriter: Gary David Goldberg, Claire Cook (novel)
Starring: Diane Lane, John Cusack, Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher Plummer, Dermot Mulroney, Stockard Channing, Julie Gonzalo
After a hard divorce, forty-something Sarah (Diane Lane) is reluctant to rejoin the dating market. A large and caring family try to help, led by her sister Carol (Elizabeth Perkins) who sets up a dating profile for Sarah.
Based on Claire Cook’s chick-lit novel, Must Love Dogs is an entertaining look at the ups and downs of dating. Going against the clichés, Sarah gets along with her large Irish-American family and scenes between the many siblings and/or their beloved father are some of the best working scenes. Off course it helps that the father is played by renowned actor Plummer (The Sound of Music, 1965) but also Perkins (Big, 1988) delights as the interfering sister, just as it is nice to see the criminally underused Channing (Grease, 1978). The two leads are charming. Lane (Unfaithful, 2002) breezes through the scenes and Cusack (High Fidelity, 2000) quirky as fellow single Jake who responds to the add. But the fact that the two are attracted to each other quite fast it is hard to make sense on why they continue moving towards other people and more disastrous dates, with Sarah shifting between moods unexplained. At times unconvincing in its story, but the cast is great and it has some undeniable charming moments.
The dog “Mother Theresa” was played by two 6-month old Newfoundland puppies named Molly (who did most of the work) and Maeve (who performed the water scene). Director Gary David Goldberg adopted both puppies at the end of filming.
Picture copyrights: Warner Home Video