Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dog Day mid-Afternoon

I really don't remember if it was during the kid's Spring Break or Summer of '08 that we saw Beverly Hills Chihuahua in our trusty dollar cinema. It was unclear, a blur, a haze. Like an overripe peach in a blender. We hadn't seen a movie in a while and with good reason. The pickings were slim. As evidenced by our ending up in a Disney talking-dog movie.

Now please don't get me wrong. I have nothing against Disney, nor do I make it a point to avoid talking-dog movies. My youngest son happens to really like Snow Buddies which is a delightful adventure invol... no it's not. It's a kids movie that uses as many catch phrases as it possibly can in hopes of staying "current". Again, there's nothing wrong with that. There's an audience for that. I'm just not included in that audience, which is fine. Wow, that sounds cynical.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua uses the same formula. Cram as many catch phrases in the movie as possible and pass them off as jokes. Throw in a few worn out colloquialisms in hope that people have either forgotten about them or still haven't heard them yet. This formula is framed around a chihuahua named Chloe (Drew Barrymore) who is the pet of a very rich woman "Vivian" (Jaime Lee Curtis) who treats Chloe like a spoiled child. The Mexican gardener "Sam" who is apparently a confidant of Vivian. Hmm. Gardener, rich woman in large house... Nah.

Anyway Sam has a dog "Papi" who is also a chihuahua that he takes with him to his gardening duties for some reason. Papi falls for Chloe and is determined to impress her but Chloe is having none of it. Throw in other spoiled dog friends of Chloe (who seem to be as fond of dog clothing as Chloe and Vivian) to be the smack talking comedy relief of Beverly Hills petdom.

Vivian is called away on something or other probably involving whatever business she's in. I don't remember if it was mentioned. So she leaves her niece "Rachel" to take good care of Chloe and everything works out just fine and the movie ends. HAH! Thought you were going to get off easy did you? Nope. The self-centered niece takes off with her friends to Mexico and takes the self-centered dog with them. Dog gets lost. Ensuing plot complications lead us to a heroic-tragic German Shepherd named Delgado, a rat and iguana that fill our R2D2 and C3P0 requirement, and some diamond thieves that fill out our villain quota nicely. Our villains even get an evil dog with witch to interact with our heroes.

It's a Kids, Buddy, Comedy, Road-movie to Mexico. It really succeeds as a kids movie if nothing else. I remember talking with my neighbor as we exited the movie with our kids and agreeing that it was well worth the $1.50 for the ticket. But not much more.

*UPDATE* 3:21pm 7/30/09
It has been brought to my attention that the trailer (below) for Bevery Hills Chihuahua can be confusing if you don't speak German. If that is indeed an issue for you then please follow this link to see the trailer in English.

Trailer for Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Trailer for Snow Buddies

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