Dog Days is the ensemble film that dog lovers will rejoice over. Think The Secret Life of Pets from the owners’ perspective (and not-animated) or Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, or Mother’s Day… with dogs. It’s amusing, clever, and very, very canine.
There’s Grace (Eva Longoria), who is trying to adopt a little girl with her husband (Rob Corddry). There’s Liz (Nina Dobrev), who is breaking in a new and unwanted co-host for her morning show in ex-football player, Jimmy (Tone Bell). There are barista Tara (Vanessa Hudgens) and dogwalker Daisy (Laura Lapkus) who are crushing on veterinarian Dr. Mike (Michael Cassidy), while also dealing with rescue/pound worker Garrett (Jon Bass). Walter (Ron Cephas Jones) loses his dog, and engages smarter-than-he-looks pizza delivery boy Tyler (Finn Wolfhard) in looking for him. And then there’s the less-than-successful rocker Dax (Adam Pally) who gets stuck with his pregnant sister’s dog, unwillingly. Yes, there’s always a dog, and the dog is always important.
The dog might be the bond that brings out the best in Grace’s adoptive process and Charlie might be enough to help Dax grow up. But there’s no dog that will help Liz get over her boyfriend’s (Ryan Hansen) unfaithfulness, or help Garrett or Tara find confidence, or help Walter and Tyler overcome their differences in age, race, and perspective. All of those moments actually require people to grow together, and figure it out.
I have a dog – but I’m not a dog person. I will begrudgingly admit that dogs bring out the best (and sometimes) worst in people, reminding them of their ability to love, mostly because dogs will love you no matter what. In its own way, Dog Days is a poetic reminder of unconditional love, shown through the vehicle of the dogs who love these irregular people. Irregular, broken, mess-making people who are a lot like us, but who have the ability to grow and change and adapt.
In the midst of the dog days of summer, Dog Days arrives to provide us some fun, some smiles, and a beautiful reminder of the way relationships make us stronger, whether they’re human and canine, or two humans working out the meanings of life.