Diane Lane, John Cusack, Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher Plummer, Dermot Mulroney, Ali Hillis, Julie Gonzalo, Ben Shenkman and Stockard Channing

Gary David Goldberg

Running Time:
98 mins

Out to buy on DVD 06/02/06

"I'm off the bench"


Divorced and single for eight months, Sarah's (Lane) family decide to step in and get her back in the dating game. Jake's (Cusack) divorce papers have just gone through and best friend Charlie (Shenkman) wants to introduce him to his new freedoms. Both interfering friends and families decide to use the new source of dating the Internet but even with modern technology, the path to new love is still a difficult one.

The romantic comedy has always been the domain of the younger generation but Hollywood has discovered a whole new age demographic to cater for.

Even though the British film industry has know this and exploited it for a long time now, Hollywood has only just discovered that the over 35s are also single and dreaming about finding love. This is a lucrative and untapped market in the US as the country has one of the highest divorce rates in the world so there are many single women and men dreaming of having new romance in their lives. Now Hollywood has realised that this is a growing market that has money to spend but have really not been catered for on the silver screen but can 'Must Love Dogs' tap into that demographic?

The movie revolves around that new dating tool, the Internet. This is a phenomenon that is sweeping the dating world and it is the thirty-five plus generation that are really exploiting it. Based on the novel by Claire Cook, the film shows you how difficult it can be to be single again after been married. Revealing how divorcees have to rejoin the dating the game and the mishaps that these people endure as they rejoin the single populace using the Internet to help them back into the game.

This is interesting plot device is bought to the big screen by two actors that are no strangers to the romantic comedy genre. Diane Lane is becoming the go-to-girl for filmmakers when it comes to casting a 35+ female lead in a romantic comedy and she is becoming very attuned to the role. She is becoming a skilled rom-com actress who displays the right about of haplessness and vulnerability to capture the essence of the role so that she will appeal to the film's target audience. John Cusack can play this type of role in his sleep and he has become an expert at it. The man still oozes cool and makes Jake a man that most of the male audience can connect with. Cusack has always had the ability to play these roles quite convincingly but this is hardly a film that pushes his talents.

The supporting ensemble cast is also filled with actors quite accustomed to the genre. Elizabeth Perkins is very good as Sarah's interfering sister Carol. Christopher Plummer and Stockard Channing bring some class to the proceedings as Sarah's dad Bill and his new girlfriend Dolly. There are also good performances from Dermot Mulroney, Ali Hillis and Ben Shenkman.

'Must Love Dogs' should ring true with the 35+ single demographic that it is aiming to cater for. With some fun moments and not too much sentimentally to make the movie too sickly sweet, the film is made all the more enjoyable by the performance of the two leads and there supporting cast and you don't have to like dogs to like it.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, the movie is presented well.


Additional Scenes with Commentary by screenwriter/director Gary David Goldberg (8.25 mins)
Entitled 'Roger's Testimonial', 'Sister's Talking', 'Brady Bunch' and 'Michael Collins', these deleted scenes show more the good chemistry amongst the cast.

Pass the Beef - Gag Reel (1.00 mins)
Watch Elizabeth Perkins throw the beef at John Cusack, not very well.

Theatrical trailer (2.19 mins)
Watch the full trailer that promoted the movie in cinemas

A preview of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'


The DVD treatment of 'Must Love Dogs' is very lacklustre. While the additional scenes have a commentary track, the feature doesn't which is a real puzzle. The lack of any making of featurette is also a shame, making this a real let down for fans of the film.


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