DVD Review: Must Love Dogs - Widescreen Edition
Release Date: December 20, 2005
Distributor: Warner Home Video
· Gary David Goldberg
· Diane Lane
· John Cusack
· Dermot Murloney
· Elizabeth Perkins
· Stockard Channing
· Christopher Plummer
· IMDb: Must Love Dogs
· Cinema Spider: Must Love Dogs
by R.J. Carter
Published: December 19, 2005
Sarah (Diane Lane) is divorced, and her family is sick of her being single. So her brothers, sisters and father stage an intervention, and they're all over-eager to push her back into the dating world. Forced to respond to personal ads -- one of which has her meeting her widowed father (Christopher Plummer, "The Sound of Music") who is also on the prowl -- she finally succumbs to having her sister Carol (Elizabeth Perkins) set her up a profile on an internet matching site, preparing the stage for even more embarrassing first dates.
Jake (John Cusack) is in a similar situation -- his attorney friend insists on setting him up with girls from his office, or with strangers from online. But Jake isn't looking for a one-night stand. A devotee of "Doctor Zhivago", he wants that love that's worth risking everything for.
When he meets up with Sarah, things go awfully horribly wrong. Which is par for the course for Sarah who's already had a string of bad first dates. But Jake sees something in her worth pursuing, and begs for a second chance. And then a third. Meanwhile, Sarah finds herself drawn to Bobby (Dermot Mulroney), the recently divorced father of one of Sarah's preschool students.
An awkward coincidence results in both of the men in
Sarah's life meeting up at her house.
L-R: Mulroney, Cusack, Lane
Replete with romantic complications, misinterpretations, and wrong-place / wrong-time scenarios, "Must Love Dogs" is a true chick-flick. The men are either too deep and sensitive, or too heartbreakingly promiscuous, which can only set up the male viewer on this date to meet unrealistic expectations or be viewed with renewed suspicion. That said, there are some truly great scenes here: Mulroney taking part in a sing-along of The Partridge Family theme song was unexpected, and the cross-city hunt for condoms with Cusack and Lane was very hilarious. Stockard Channing shines as Dolly, an aging and lonely woman who willingly endures the flings of Plummer's character just to have someone in her life.
The only special feature on this disc is a gag reel, "Pass the Beef" which is a one-minute look at the reshoots of one scene where Elizabeth Perkins tries to toss a pound of hamburger to Cusack, and keeps missing her target.
Previews include Seasons 1-10 of Friends.