Directed by: Gary David Goldberg
Written by:Gary David Goldberg
Starring: Diane Lane, Joan Cusack, Dermot Mulroney, Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher Plummer
Released: October 6, 2005
Grade: C+

Must Love Dogs is a terribly cheesy romantic comedy.  It reminds me of the stupid American sitcoms that don’t make it on our free-to-air television, and instead debut on Foxtel.  Some like these kind of movies.  I don’t.  I need originality and if you’re looking for a much better film about romance, check out Curtis Hanson’s In Her Shoes which is also currently showing.

Sarah (Lane) is a divorced 40-something pre-school teacher.  All her family and friends (including the token gay couple) are helping her get back in the game.  They are bringing over photos of eligible bachelors and signing her up to internet dating websites.  The obvious question, of course, is how come someone as good looking as Diane Lane can’t find a decent man?

After a few botched dates, Sarah meets Jake (Cusack), also on the rebound and also loving dogs.  They get off to a decent start but things become complicated when Sarah finds herself being wooed by Bobby (Mulroney), the father of one of her students.  She’s now gone from having no options, to having two very viable options.

The worst part of Must Love Dogs is the dribble which comes from their mouths.  You feel there’s no spontaneity and almost every line of dialogue feels too smartly written.  It’s trying too hard.  Diane Lane and John Cusack are great actors who are the best performers in the film but the supporting characters are terribly written.  They’re walking clichés and the more they spoke, the more I reached for my sick bag.

Now knowing that people like Diane Lane can be found on the internet, I’m off for some net dating…