Must Love Dogs

It kept raining, and I watched a crew dealing with a tree that had fallen down.  I tried to grade some exams, but I ran out of time before I had to give my lecture.  I got home and cooked some chicken, than sat down to watch “Must Love Dogs.”  The only reason I was seeing this movie is that it was mentioned in “The LEGO Batman Movie.”  It had some scenes that were overdone and utterly nauseating, like when Sarah and Jake were driving around to drug stores in search of condoms, and that last kiss in front of the butcher.  Watching Diane Lane made me think of how many years have passed since I saw “The Outsiders.”  John Cusack had played a character with a skill before, and it was puppetry in “Being John Malkovich.”  Here he was a boat builder.  Supposedly, his favorite movie was “Doctor Zhivago.”  I don’t know any man in the history of humankind whose favorite movie is “Doctor Zhivago.”  I thought the movie had a slowness to it that was a bit like a bloated epic, though.  It seems to take forever for the main characters to meet each other.  One moment that felt kind of strange was the discussion of David Cassidy.  One of the women said that she saw him in Las Vegas, and that he hadn’t changed since the 1970s.  This felt odd in light of Cassidy’s recent revelation about his dementia.  They had a family singalong of the Partridge Family theme song.  Cusack’s character takes a girl out on a date to see “Doctor Zhivago” at a theatre.  I found that highly improbable because nobody shows “Doctor Zhivago” anywhere anymore, although it made for a moment that was something out of “Annie Hall.”  Was Diane Lane’s character really so appealing as she stumbled around making foolish decisions?  I think I would have gotten tired of her.  It was kind of interesting that Christopher Plummer was the father of this group, although I’m not sure it was totally believable.  The one moment that made me laugh out loud was Cusack watching television with his dog.  Well, a romantic comedy like this is going to end predictably, because I don’t think Diane Lane will end up feeling lonely and miserable for the rest of her life.  This was not as an enjoyable a movie as “When Harry Met Sally” or “Annie Hall” or anything that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan did together.  I don’t think that Diane Lane and John Cusack were quite the right match.  They are two people of my generation, so I wanted to like the two of them in this movie.  I found it hard to believe that a woman like Diane Lane would spend so much time alone.  The director was Gary David Goldberg, based on a novel by Claire Cook.  I would have liked meeting these people and talking with them.  Now I feel that I cannot trust Batman’s taste in movies any longer.  The movie did start off in promising fashion with Linda Ronstadt’s “When Will I Be Loved” on the soundtrack.  I looked up Gary David Goldberg on the Internet and saw that he got his start writing for The Bob Newhart Show in 1976, and he went on to create “Family Ties.”  He died of brain cancer at age 68 in 2013.  Claire Cook was born on Valentine’s Day of 1955, and so she is 62 years old.  I read the Roger Ebert review for “Must Love Dogs,” and he gave it only two out of four stars.  I read through a few of his other articles.  Over the space of a couple of weeks, he wrote about the death of Charlie Chaplin, the death of Howard Hawks, and also about Kim Darby, who was appeared in a movie called “The One and Only.”  I pondered whether I should subject myself to another John Cusack romantic comedy, “Serendipity.”  I tried to plan my weekend of movies.  Some of the people who died on February 23 include John Quincy Adams (1848), Carl Friedrich Gauss (1855), Edward Edgar (1934), Stan Laurel (1965), James Herriot (1995), and Howie Epstein (2003).  Today is a birthday for Dakota Fanning (23) and Emily Blunt (34).

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