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Must Love DogsMust Love Dogs

Starring: Diane Lane, John Cusack , Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher Plummer, Dermot Mulroney and Stockard Channing
Directed by: Gary David Goldberg

John Cusack Interview

 

Bluntly speaking? Must Love Dogs is a completely predictable, yet surprisingly enjoyable, somewhat honestly told tale of love, or rather, finding love, in the new millennium... What makes this You've Got Mail-ish romp through the mine fields of modern dating fun, is its believable, charming, often laugh-out-loud-funny cast, orchestrating a well written script (which thankfully, often halts right before the dreaded exit to Land of Lost Hallmark cards).

Story goes...Sarah (Diane Lane) is recently-ish divorced. In her huge Irish-American family this is just not acceptable...but in a loving way. Her sister, Carol (Elizabeth Perkins) decides what Sarah needs is a date, maybe some fun, and if it works out a bit of schtupping. Behind her back, Carol places an ad upon an Internet dating service. After a bit of himming and hawing Sarah decides she'll give the world of Internet dating a whirl.

After the worst first date in the history of the whole wave of meeting-via-a-click, Sarah - still determined-ish - weeds through the riffraff and posing wolves in hopes of maybe meeting Mr. Right, or Mr. Right-a-wee-bit-at-least.

Meanwhile, over in the other part of the boy-meets-girl yarn, we meet a just-divorced lad named Jake (John Cusack). He's a six-foot something, old-fashioned romance novel sort who spews philosophy, and enjoys comparing chance meetings to the rarity of comets and resides, his wounded heart hiding, in Dr. Zhivagoland. (<- we will pretend these men exist - ahem - not that I'm bitter mind you). Jake's not up to dating or even play-dating. But he too has a but-inksi who starts to "shop" for him.

Violá the two are to meet. But, faster than you can say, "Hey-yeah! That cute guy playin' the single dad is Dermot Mulroney," we go through the acts. The out come is blatantly fore shadowed with no blindsiding pauses, and riddled with the just-met awkward moments expected in a big-budgety summer romance movie. But in the skilled hands of Lane and Cusack, aside Perkins and smile-enducing pro Stockard Channing, we skip merry-a-long the worn path - and gleefully. They raise the would be, "not-this-again" subject matter to a level of actual entertainment - and the script is well written; emotional enough to keep you caring, and funny enough to keep you from inhaling like a human Tyrannosaurus Rex!

Besides, who minds watching a hearty helping of über-cutey John Cusack flirting upon a screen, and a side helping of Dermot Mulroney, for a couple of heat sweaty-summer hours? Right - nadda with a pulse. And for the chick lovin' sorts among you there's plenty of pretty beneath all Diane Lane's talent - and oodles of other felines fancying up that there screen.

Must Love Dogs is fun and warm. Nothing explodes (except love), and it's swell tale of two people actually finding each other - with mostly realistic tendencies. Enjoy.

Snack recommendation: Marie's Roasted Red Pepper Dip - Have you TRIED this nectar of the fat/carb gods?

 

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