Must Love Dogs (2005) - Review

by - August 12, 2019

Synopsis: A forty-something preschool teacher looks to the personals for a change of pace and a relationship, with hilarious results.

The hardest trick is making them stay.

After a painful divorce, Sarah Nolan (Diane Lane) is reluctant to re-enter the dating scene. Determined to reignite Sarah's love life, her sisters Carol (Elizabeth Perkins) and Christine (Ali Hillis) post a profile for Sarah on an internet dating site. Every date is a disaster, but there is the spark of something there when Sarah meets her date, Jake (John Cusack) at a dog park. Jake is intense, but charming, and after a rocky start, she agrees to give him a second chance. To muddle things up a bit, Sarah is also attracted to Bobby (Dermot Mulroney), the father of one of her pre-school students. And Sarah isn't the only family member dipping into the wide world of internet dating. Her father Bill (Christopher Plummer) also finds love online... with several women, including the eccentric Dolly (Stockard Channing).

There has always been something warm and comforting about watching John Cusack in a romantic comedy. He is consistently charismatic, taking a one-dimensional character and giving him plenty of depth and heart. Diane Lane delivers an equaling engaging performance as an older woman trying to navigate a dating world where the men are interested in finding women to carry their emotional baggage whilst also being 25 years old... maybe 18. With Perkins, Plummer, and Channing, the supporting cast is magnificent. It's just a shame they have a very flimsy script to work with.

Must Love Dogs has plenty of elements from other romantic comedies, many of which are extremely appealing, but it's hard to deny the movie also feels somewhat contrived and flat. Cusack and Lane's chemistry is what keeps this movie afloat. If you want an affable, cozy rom-com to watch on a lazy day, Must Love Dogs is a safe choice.

Starring: Diane Lane, John Cusack, Dermot Mulroney, Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher Plummer, Stockard Channing, Glenn Howerton, Julie Gonzalo
Directed by: Gary David Goldberg
Watched: 08.10.2019
Fun Facts:
- Gary David Goldberg gave John Cusack the script and encouraged him to change any dialogue for the role of Jake that he wanted. Cusack sent Goldberg back 35 new pages of dialogue for his character.
- The dog, Mother Theresa, was played by 2 six-month-old Newfoundland puppies, both of whom appear at the very end of the movie during the credits. Goldberg adopted both puppies after the film wrapped.
Notable Song: The First Cut is the Deepest by Sheryl Crow

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  1. Oh I never saw this one! That's lovely trivia about puppies getting adopted! I like Diane Lane, it was so pathethic how Snyder shot her in those Superman movies as if she was some old lady

    1. I'm a big fan of hers as well. I feel like she's a very underrated actress. And I agree 100% about Man of Steel.

  2. I remember seeing this in theaters because I worked at one at the time, but I do not remember a thing from the movie itself. lol

    1. It's fine... but not terribly memorable, obviously! lol


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