Although “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is a serious contender, “Dog Days” holds its weight as the feel-good movie of the summer. Going into the film with no expectations aside from wanting to see a herd of cute dogs, I was relatively surprised at how the film had a little bit of everything — comedy, romance and genuine connections between the characters. Not only was it heartfelt, but it was also a startling reminder on just how big of an impact furry friends have on our lives. “Dog Days” is not getting the attention it deserves.
The film’s plot consists of five dogs, 12 different people and one story which ties them all together. Movies with big casts often have a way of growing too boring or tedious to follow, as is the case with films like 2010’s “Valentine’s Day” or 2011’s “New Year’s Eve.” However, this is not the case with “Dog Days.” Each character is unique in their own way, making it easy for the audience to connect with them and their experiences. More often than not, films where several storylines tie together at one event (in this case, a fundraiser for a dog adoption agency) are messy and hard to follow. “Dog Days” pulls together all of the characters stories seamlessly. In fact, the execution of the particular premise of the storyline is managed extremely well. The film ends on a positive note and encourages the audience to look into adopting from shelters.
The film has a star-studded cast which will catch the interest of most viewers. It’s not hard to feel excited about the film’s acting, featuring stars such as Vanessa Hudgens, Nina Dobrev and Finn Wolfhard. Human cast aside, the five dogs of the film (Gertrude, Mabel, Charlie, Sam and Brandy) shine as real stars — as they should. Another strong feature of this film is that the casting of the dog breeds was done well. Although I’m biased and love the classic Golden Retriever, it was nice and refreshing to see the different and unexpected breeds of dogs on screen. They were both little and big, and fit their roles perfectly.
As movies with dogs usually accomplish, this film reminds the audience of just how important an element our four-legged friends are in our lives. One character in the film says, “Dogs open their hearts to us to love, and to be loved. And I find that beautiful.” The statement is a perfect summary of the film and an equally important reminder that dogs count on us as much as we count on them. “Dog Days” is a beautifully tailored film that is well worth the watch, with or without your own dogs to accompany you. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars.
If you are interested in adopting a dog or cat, consider looking into the Pet Rescue and Adoption Center here in Utah.
Trigger Warning: This film contains animal death, though it is not violent or drawn out.