Film Scouts Reviews

"The Truth about Cats & Dogs"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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April 18, 1996

"She has a great personality." The phrase was a dead giveaway for a not-very-pretty girl. You know, the one that everyone "sees right through", while the tall, slender blonde causes men to strain their necks looking. Well, Janeane Garofalo is the short brunette who is routinely ignored, and Uma Thurman is Uma Thurman. Janeane portrays a veterinarian who hosts a radio show while Uma is a sort-of model with a nasty boyfriend/manager. It is an unlikely friendship that is at the core of a case of identity swapping. When the adorable Ben Chaplin, portraying Brian, a photographer, calls in to Janeane's radio show, he is intrigued enough by her to want to meet her. But through the magic of plot twisting, Ben ends up thinking that Uma is Janeane. While the situation may be a little far-fetched, the characters and reactions are right on target. And the resulting comedy is an acerbic look at how women view themselves and how men view women.

It isn't too surprising, since the director is Michael Lehmann, who debuted on the big screen with "Heathers". And Janeane's biting comedic edge has been honed on cable's "The Larry Saunders Show" and in the feature film "Reality Bites". I'll never forget her as the date from hell in "Bye Bye Love". Even Ben Chaplin, who is a Merchant and Ivory kind of guy, kicks in to the fun gear. And of course, Uma Thurman is capable of just about anything, including adding shallowness to this
enjoyable romantic comedy. Rated R.

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