Don Reviews "Dog Days"
Growing up, I always had a dog, and most of them were collies so I understand how people can get attached to their dogs. Most pets become a valued member of our families and even help form a community of owners that is a larger family. How these people interact with each other is the story of “How to be a Latin Lover” director Ken Marino’s “Dog Days”. With a cast that includes Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical 3), Finn Wolfhard (It, Stranger Things), Lauren Lapkus (Jurassic World), Adam Pally (Band Aid), Jon Bass (Baywatch), Ron Cephas Jones (This is Us), comedian Tig Notaro (One Mississippi), Michael Cassidy (Argo), Rob Corddry (Ballers), Thomas Lennon (Reno 911), Jessica Lowe (Wrecked), Tone Bell (The Flash), Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives), and newcomer Elizabeth Phoenix Caro, this story is based in modern day Los Angeles with a group of people whose lives intertwine with the common factor being that they are dog owners.
This has the normal everyday feel to match the story, but I did notice it was mostly during the day and always sunny (I mean… it’s Los Angeles). There is no lead actor here, and no one tries to steal the spotlight. I do have to give a shout out to Elizabeth Phoenix Caro, who does very well in her debut as a girl coming into a new foster home going through what a child at that age would go through in real life. I also want to recognize the dogs and their trainers, who worked great together to let the dogs play an acting role with the right trick or movement at the right time, especially when one dog reacts when it eats a “certain brownie”.
This film is in a way like “A Dog’s Purpose”, but still very different, with a great mix of comical moments throughout the film that mixes well with the dramatic elements. There are a few storylines where I could see where it would all lead to, but the payoffs in some cases changed it up a bit on me with a very good message throughout, making me laugh when I was meant to and also feel emotional when I was meant to. I will admit, my expectations were not that great, but I was truly surprised, so I am giving this film the coveted full price in the theaters recommendation.