Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book To Movie Review: Must Love Dogs

Author: Claire Cook
Title: Must Love Dogs
Publisher: New American Library
Publish Date: July 5, 2005
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Forty-year-old Sarah Hurlihy, a divorced preschool teacher whose life is her classroom, is about to meet her first date in more than a decade. It was the "Loves Dogs" that hooked her in the personal ad, and now she is scanning her neighborhood café for the man with a yellow rose. And find him she does, but he's the last person on earth she expects to find there . . . In Must Love Dogs, hilarious missteps abound. Sarah's widowed father, Billy Hurlihy, with six adult kids, is seeing at least two women. And he and Sarah aren't the only Hurlihys with romantic challenges. Her brother Michael, for one, has a rocky marriage that Mother Teresa, his St. Bernard, just may put over the edge. With self-deprecating humor and a laugh-out-loud view of the way we live now, including shar pei/Labrador crosses and a transgenerational body-piercing experience, Must Love Dogs is a perfect beach read that melts the heartache of dating with warmth and humor.

Review:  When the film "Must Love Dogs" came out many years back, I didn't know it was based on a book. When I found a copy of the book in my library, I was over the moon to read it. Little did I know that the book and the film are nothing alike. This is actually a case where the book was really not that good.

I like Claire Cook but the characters here were just so unlovable. Sarah is not fun and neither is her family. I expected a light funny read and that wasn't what I got. Her father didn't seem to appreciate the woman he had been married too and is now serial dating and ends up with the pretty close to psychotic Dolly.

Her brother Michael's marriage is rocky and his has a dog that isn't making it better. On top of it all her family is forcing her to get back into the dating world, by putting an ad in the personals

Ok, WTF! What family does this? In fact, what family gangs up on a recently divorced woman to get her back in the dating pool?

The only remotely funny thing in the book was at the beginning when Sarah answers her father's personal ad.

After that, it is all down hill.

Oh but there's more then just family craziness, there are Sarah's guys. Bobby, a father of one of her pre-school kids is a total jerk, but she seems to prefer him to John.

Maybe if I hadn't seen the movie first, I would have liked this one better, but sadly this is a case where the film trumped the book.

Rating:  2 stars

Movie Thoughts:  John Cusack! I think that's all a girl should have to say. When he's in a rom-com, it is going to be good. He's the perfect everyman, and he plays Jake Alexander so well. He's nerdy and introspective and thoughtful and you love him for it.

He's the kind of guy you want to fall in love with.

Oh and Sarah...why did they change the last name? Sarah Nolan? WTF!

They did a lot differently. In the film it was online dating v/s personal ads. Dad was much nicer and Dolly wasn't psycho. Stockard Channing also rocked as Dolly!

I loved that Jake's character was more fleshed out, because he was hardly important in the book. Bobby pretty much stayed the jerk that he was, though Sarah's pre-school aid, June's part in their relationship wasn't as built up as it was in the book.

I liked Diane Lane's Sarah, though she was a bit too Hollywood thin for the part.

And as for the ending? Perfect romcom ending!


Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs using images from the Tea Time kit and the Saturday Night kit by MK-Designs