Film Scouts Reviews

"Dog Park"

by Thom Bennett

Starring Luke Wilson, Natasha Henstridge, Kathleen Robertson, Janeane Garofalo, Bruce Mc Culloch, Kristin Lehman, Amie Carey, Gordon Currie, Harland Williams, Mark McKinney, Jerry Schaeffer
Produced by Susan Cavan and Jeff Sackman
Written and Directed by Bruce Mc Culloch&tab;&tab;
Distributed by Lion's Gate Films

Love triangles are nothing new to the movies. However, the relationship between men and women and their dogs has gone largely unexamined cinematically. Chalk it up to an oversight - or merely a good call.

"Dog Park" is a glimpse into the lives of a group of friends seemingly obsessed with their K-9 companions, so much so that their entire existence seems to revolve around their dogs. Andy (Luke Wilson) has just recently had a breakup with his girlfriend Cheryl (Kathleen Robertson) and is having trouble adjusting to being alone (as she also took custody of their doggie). One night he meets Lorna (Natasha Henstridge) in a singles bar and is immediately struck by her. However, after a one-night stand consisting largely of her throwing up from drinking too much, Lorna blows him off and Andy is left alone once more.

I had nothing but high hopes going into this one. Written and directed by Bruce Mc Culloch of "Kids in the Hall" fame and a supporting cast of some of the funniest people in the world - how could this be anything less than hilarious? Well&ldots;

The strange premise of this film is also the downfall. Fine performances by the cast as a whole and moments of hilarity get muddled in attempts to be overly quirky. The comedic chemistry between the cast members should have been enough to make it work - and it does manage to work when sticking to the actual "human" relationship aspect of the story. It is when they try to draw humor from the way these people dote over their dogs that the humor seems forced and falls flat. Watching people gush about their pets may be funny at first, but it manages to grow old rather quickly.

Considering the level of talent involved, "Dog Park", on a whole, can only be considered disappointing. You are left with the funny (or rather unfunny) feeling that there is a better movie buried somewhere within this rather flat film.

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