Film Review: ‘Dog Days’

Vanessa Hudgens stars as "Tara" in Ken Marino’s DOG DAYS, a LD Entertainment release. Credit : Jacob Yakob / LD Entertainment

When it comes to the cutest actors/actresses on any film, I’d have to say it’s impossible to beat the barking, four-legged actors that are dogs.

In the film “Dog Days” the furry tale (or should I say tail?) of some Los Angeles residents take us on a journey of four separate stories.

The first being a morning TV host, Elizabeth (Nina Dobrev) as she explores the boundaries of a relationship with her new co-anchor, Jimmy (Tone Bell). The two are polar opposites, him being an ex NFL athlete, while she is a workaholic. When their dogs meet in the park, a charming Jimmy proposes a dog date, with a lingering hope to develop into an actual date. Although, previously known for being particularly “uptight”, Elizabeth noticeably opens up more when the two are paired together.

Next is a lazy, sloppy aspiring musician Dax, who is entrusted with his sister’s (Jessica St. Clair) beloved dog as she recuperates from the sleepless nights of her newborn twins. Her husband, Greg (Thomas Lennon) is of little to no help as he carefully tiptoes around a possible outburst from his hormonal wife.

Then there is a barista, Tara (Vanessa Hudgens) who is lovestruck with the hot veterinarian who works across the street (Michael Cassidy). And although he doesn’t have a clue that she exists, she is pursued by a “regular” customer Garrett (Jon Bass), who is also the owner of a dog rescue shelter. When she discovers an abandoned dog by the garbage, she sees it as an opportunity to talk to the vet, as does Garrett on his quest to develop a relationship with Tara.

And finally, is couple Grace and Kurt (Eva Longoria, Rob Corddry). The two prepare everything to the dot as they anticipate the arrival of their adopted daughter, Amelia. With initial high hopes, Grace immediately struggles with getting Amelia to open up emotionally and see her as a mother. Meanwhile, an elderly widowed man Walter (Ron Cephas Jones) lives comfortably and quietly alongside his dog, Mabel. He later befriends pizza delivery Tyler (Finn Wolfhard) after his pug is lost. The two desperately attempt to find it and strike up a unique relationship. As Mabel struts around town, she is found by Amelia, and begs her adoptive parents to keep her.

Despite the phenomenal cast, if there are praises to be made for anyone, the adorable canines win by a long shot. Always lovable and sweet, this movie although cheesy, is successful due to the charismatic nature of the pets. The dogs themselves each have a distinct personality throughout their respective stories. Ranging from being quietly obedient to playfully rambunctious they steal the show in every scene. They never disappoint.

As the multiple stories unfold, the audience watches the characters go through; dating, adoption, childbirth and the grief associated with the death of a spouse. Each tale being so different with a completely different lesson to be learned from each, the one thing they do have in common is their love of their pawed friends. Their love of dogs is the one similar characteristic every character has in this film, and it’s contagious for anyone who watches.

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