'Dog Days' Review: Goofy Charm Lacks Payoff Directed by Ken Marino

Starring Eva Longoria, Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Adam Pally
'Dog Days' Review: Goofy Charm Lacks Payoff Directed by Ken Marino
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For a lighthearted summer comedy that piles in as many cute dogs, kids and clichés as it can, Ken Marino's Dog Days has some goofy charm.
 
The film follows a handful of L.A. dog owners as they experience budding romances, friendships and personal growth. Elizabeth (Nina Dobrev) is a morning show host that's paired with a former athlete co-anchor (Tone Bell) who, at first, seems all wrong.
 
An elderly widower (Ron Cephas Jones) loses his dog, which ends up with the adorable newly adopted Amelia (Elizabeth Phoenix Caro), helping her feel more at home.
 
Dax (Adam Pally), is a musician who can't quite take care of himself, and is a handful to his sister Grace (Jessica St.Clair), who just had twins.
 
And Tara (Vanessa Hudgens) is a barista with a crush on the handsome vet (Michael Cassidy), failing to notice the nice guy customer (Jon Bass) who's right in front of her.
 
Their dogs, often functioning as a thinly veiled metaphor for the owner's emotional state, are also thrown into the mix.
 
If pulling all of these threads together wasn't enough, there are also a handful of recurring gags, such as comedian Tig Notaro playing a no-nonsense dog therapist, and a weather forecaster who over-shares details of her private life on the air.
 
It's a large ensemble, and it takes a little long for their stories to overlap and come to their respective conclusions. But the cast is strong, and approach their roles earnestly. So while, for the most part, Dog Days is a bit too cheesy and predictable to have real emotional payoff, it's still got some tenderness to it.
 
(Elevation)