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    Must Love Dogs

    Herman and I recently rented a DVD with the above named title which made me want to get it immediately. As I have mentioned to you before, I have recently been reading a series of books by Jon Katz about dogs. That and the fact that I tend to like romantic comedies helped with my decision.

    John Cusack and Diane Lane play a couple destined to meet. Well, destined by the movie writer and director Gary David Goldberg, who is most noted for his writing and creating TV series like Family Ties. Yes, this is a somewhat faded plot device, but it worked for me.

    Herman was laughing out loud while watching this film while I, on the other hand, was only smiling. The show involves a plotline based on personal ads in order to find a relationship. So that’s what it’s come to.

    “Must Love Dogs” is a line from Diane Lane’s personal ad which is put forward without her knowledge by her sister. John Cusack’s character is also reticent to be on the personal ad network, but is pushed by a friend. The two reluctant lovers meet in a series of mishaps and mis-timed mis-adventures (well, you get the point) and eventually we can all write the ending.

    On of my favorite lines is said by a character in the title sequence leading up to the movie. This is a “typical” personal ad client named “Rebecca” who states:

    “The best place to meet a guy is at the supermarket. You don't need to waste a lot of time there, either. You see a guy holding a list, you know he's married. He's in the frozen food section carrying a small basket, he's single. I like to hang out by fruits and vegetables, there's a better chance of getting a guy who's healthy.”

    John Cusack normally has an adorably likable demeanor in romantic comedies and even this tepid script can’t completely defeat his charisma. Unfortunately, the tension and fire between his character and that of Diane Lane’s character just never catches fire and the film suffers for that. There is a lot of “willing suspension of disbelief” that has to go on for the viewer to buy this whole scenario.

    Still, we aren’t talking about Schindler’s List here. It’s a light romantic comedy and has some elements of romance. The film didn’t do that well, but taken for what it is, it can be very enjoyable to watch. I wish they’d had more dog interaction. That actually might have helped.

    So if you get a chance to rent this film and you like the main characters in other films, you will most likely find this a good entertainment. Herman and I did.


    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com