Saturday, October 11, 2008

Movie Review: Beverly Hills Chihuahua

The previews for Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008) were built around a rapping dog and a dance number on a pyramid. If that dance number is not on the special features I will be shocked and disappointed because it is hysterical and amusing. A lot of the commercials also revolved around Papi (George Lopez), the heroic Chihuahua who is in love with Chloe (Drew Barrymore).

Chloe is the point of life for Aunt Viv (Jamie Lee Curtis). When Viv goes to Italy for a couple weeks and cannot take Chloe, she leaves Chloe with Rachel (Piper Perabo). Piper is a shiftless, irresponsible girl, presumably late teens or early 20s who seems to do nothing but talk to her friends and party.

The relationship between the 3 is all that is right and all that is wrong about pet ownership. Viv clearly cares for could be argued too much. She spends thousands of dollars on pet care, changes Chloe's clothes several times a day, and so forth. She is way over the top with it and Chloe is a spoiled, miserable mutt as well. At the same time, Rachel is careless about caring for the actual needs of the dog, too lost in her own world to care about the life, animal though it is, that is in her care.

Well, Rachel's friends decide to go to Mexico on an overnight party trip. Rachel leaves Chloe in the room, Chloe sneaks out, gets dog-napped by a ring of dog-fighters, and the chase is on. 

Chloe escapes with the help of Delgado (Andy Garcia). Chased by Diablo (Edward James Olmos), they make their way across Mexico. Meanwhile, helped by landscaper Sam Cortez (Manolo Cardona) and Papi, Rachel tries to trace Chloe.

Along the way they run into a pack rat/iguana team of thieves who provide some nice humor, Chloe and Delgado run into a coyote named...wait for it...Coyote...and eventually there is a conclusion where Chloe is rescued, Rachel and Sam fall in love, and if any of that shocks you then you are pretty obtuse. 

Along the way they get off some vague morality tales about the errors inherent in anthropomorphizing Chihuahuas, responsibility, rescuing animals instead of getting purebreds, and finding good homes for stray animals.

This movie was really good when Papi was on screen and really horrendous when Viv was there. It was highly entertaining when the pack rat and Iguana were on screen as well. More of them, less of Viv, and this movie would have been even better. As it was, it was a fun, light-hearted romp that will be well loved by its target audience of prepubescent kids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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