Combustible Celluloid
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With: Diane Lane, John Cusack, Dermot Mulroney, Elizabeth Perkins, Stockard Channing, Christopher Plummer
Written by: Gary David Goldberg, based on the novel by Claire Cook
Directed by: Gary David Goldberg
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content
Running Time: 88
Date: 07/21/2005

Must Love Dogs (2005)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Canine Clunker

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

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Haggard divorcees Sarah (Diane Lane) and Jake (John Cusack) meet through internet dating services and share a few wonderfully messy, funny encounters. But writer/director Gary David Goldberg (creator of "Family Ties") must cook up ways to keep them apart for 88 minutes, and that's when "Must Love Dogs" goes to the dogs. A supporting cast of annoying busybodies meddles unpleasantly in the love lives of our two misfits, while soggy pop music saturates the soundtrack. A love triangle with Dermot Mulroney begins interestingly, but is snipped off with a lazy shrug. Only Christopher Plummer as Sarah's widower father brings a little grace to the proceedings. This may be the summer's only film not aimed at teenage boys, but it still feels unshaped and underdeveloped.

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