Hotel for Dogs

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +3

Emma Roberts, Jack T. Austin, Don Cheadle, Johnny Simmons, Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon. Comedy.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Forget your troubles for an hour-and-a-half and sneak out for a rollicking good time, especially if youíve ever been a dog owner (or owned by a dog). Take the family to see Hotel for Dogs. Youíll be amazed at the clever, smart Friday, a small white mutt rescued by 16 year-old Andi (Emma Roberts) and her 11-year-old brother Bruce (Jake T. Austin).

Friday, Andi and Bruce are family, and as the orphaned children begin to rescue more abandoned dogs, their family increases considerably. They discover a vacant hotel and change it into a safe haven for their clan. The kids create a ďDisneyĒ world for dogs with Rube Goldberg style inventions to entertain them, including treadmills and electric cars. Each dogís name is registered in the hotel registry with dates and circumstances leading to their arrival. Trouble comes in the form of animal control and police officers chasing unruly dogs and the kidsí desperate efforts to protect them. Make no mistake, the funny, adorable dogs are the stars of the show.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The need for family love is basic and thatís all Andi and Bruce want Ė to stay together in a home where there can fit in and be loved. They live with foster parents (Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon), who very clearly have no business taking care of children. Bernie (Don Cheadle) is the social worker assigned to Andi and Bruce. He is the only adult in their lives who shows compassion, but the brother and sister are in constant trouble. They scam strangers to raise money for dog food, tell lies and are frequently picked up by the police. When their dogs are captured by animal control, Andi, Bruce and a pet store employee (Johnny Simmons) break into the pound and release all the animals.

The childrenís delinquent behavior is primarily misguided attempts to help the helpless animals. They have to learn itís ok to ask for help instead of trying to solve problems by lying and cheating. They do redeem themselves when the town learns the truth about their heroic deeds.

Some crude humor about the dogsí hygiene and lack of training, crude words for excrement, a few exclamatory profanities and a painful blow to a manís crotch should be noted.

(Editorís Note: Mary Draughon, a former reviewer for Preview, has kindly offered to assist with reviews. Her professional abilities and helpful heart are most appreciated.)

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: References to animal excrement, slang terms

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few times

Violence: Mostly property damage during chases, falls, one blow to manís crotch

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Importance of family; children scam strangers, tell lies

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Families

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.