#REVIEW: “DOG DAYS”
Released fittingly like its namesake, Dog Days arrives right in the heat of the summer. Director/Actor/Writer Ken Mario helms the lighthearted ode to man’s best friend, told through familiar faces and intersecting story lines. Dogs bring us together and this they do in this Romantic-Comedy which is redeemed through a few genuinely heartfelt moments.
We follow the lives of Los Angelenos and their paths to growth. Dax (Adam Pally) is an aspiring musician, less than thrilled to be tasked with having to care for his sister Ruth‘s dog as she prepares to give birth to twins. Elizabeth (Nina Dobrev) is a morning show personality whose world is turned upside down when a guest (Tone Bell) challenges her on-air to get outside her comfort zone and before we know it, she finds him and his dog thrust into her life. Tara (Vanessa Hudgens) craves purpose in her life and finds herself abandoning her job at a coffee shop to helping dogs find homes with one of her customers, Garrett (Jon Bass). Grace (Eva Longoria) finds herself struggling to connect with her newly-adopted daughter Amelia (Elizabeth Phoenix Caro) until they find a lost dog. Little do they realize that it belongs to grieving widower Walter (Ron Cephas Jones) who finds an unlikely new friend in pizzaboy Tyler (Finn Wolfhard) trying to locate his pet.
While some story lines jive better than others in Dog Days, it is the canine stars of the Film continually who win our hearts with their longing to be part of their on-screen families’ worlds. If anyone takes away inspiration from the Movie in wanting to welcome a dog into their life, that already would be a great success.
Marino has a knack for bringing out the “awws” and while the Movie in spots lacks plausibility suffering from some unfortunate pacing, namely the love story between Dobrev‘s Elizabeth and Bell‘s Jimmy, we admit tender moments that make this journey to becoming better people, worth the while. The mother-daughter bond between Longoria‘s Grace and a wise-beyond-her-years Amelia are sweet and touching, while Hudgens possesses an unassuming charm and grace which draws the audience in.
We all need a bit more cute in our lives and Dog Days is one way to do that.
Elevation Pictures release DOG DAYS Friday, August 10, 2018.