Dr. Venkman Reviews: 'HOTEL FOR DOGS'

by Joey Paur

This is going to sound bad, but I went and saw the movie ‘Hotel for Dogs’ this weekend, and a then today a friend asked me when I was going to write up the review on it. I totally forgot I even saw that movie. So that must be the first big clue on what I thought about it. It was neither good enough, nor bad enough to remember. It is just one of those films that will fade in and out of existence. ‘Hotel for Dogs’ is one hundred percent a kids movie. Most of the time studios know that parents will need to take their kids to the movies and will throw in a few little extra things to help entertain the adults, but not in this movie. This movie flat out board the hell out of me, but the kids loved it.

Hotel for Dogs is about a couple of foster kids named Bruce and Andi that are living with some pretty rancid and annoying foster parents. The kids have taken a stray dog named Friday under their wing and have taken care of it since they moved in, and they have managed to keep it hidden from everybody for three years. When the kids realize they won’t be able to keep the dog hidden for much longer they stumble across a old run down hotel with two other dogs living in it. The kids decide it’s the perfect place to keep their dog. As the movie progresses forward the kids fix up the hotel and build a bunch of silly contraptions, recruit more kids, and start rescuing more and more stray dogs by bringing them into the hotel. There is a point in the film where everything gets too crazy and begins to fall apart. While this going on there is another story being told about a social service worker who is trying to find a real home for these kids. It all comes together at the end.

The two main kids in the film were played by Emma Roberts as Andi and Jake T. Austin as Bruce. They were decent kid actors; it’s what you would expect. I was kind of surprised what adult actors popped up in this movie. Don Cheadle played Bernie the social service worker. He was as natural as any good actor can be, it’s definitely a role he will not be remembered for. Kevin Dillon made a couple of appearances as the looser foster dad just seeing him in this movie was enough to make me chuckle, but if you want to see him be funny then keep watching ‘Entourage’. Then there is Lisa Kudrow as the foster mom and good lord she just looked beat down and awful in this movie. It was like her face was melting. Age is not being kind to her. I just could not stand seeing her on a screen that big.

If you don’t have kids you have no reason to go out and see ‘Hotel for Dogs’. Do not waste your time or money. Even if you do have kids I don’t think it’s worth wasting your money and time on, unless you want to dump your kids on someone else and have them take the kids. If you do end up taking your kids because they really want to see it I give you props for being completely selfless. As for me, it was free screening so I didn’t have to pay for it.

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