Rather than get stuff done, I recently spent two hours of my life watching a very irritating dog movie. I know this will come as an enormous shock, but I usually love any movie that includes a canine as a co-star, even when they are cheesy as all get-out.Maybe especially when. Beethoven, The Adventures of Yellow Dog, Air Bud, Homeward Bound, and of course, The Shaggy Dog, are all among my favourite dog movies. This movie, however, failed not only as a dog movie, but also as a romance, which perhaps is what it was supposed to be.
You Lucky Dog starred Natasha Henstridge as a fashion designer who moved back home after the sudden death of her mother. To assist her brother’s sheep farm she ends up adopting a Border Collie named Lucky and enters the town’s annual herding dog trials. It sounds pretty weak and predictable, I know, but I thought the dog scenes would be worth whatever the plot left lacking. I mean, with a dog this cute, how could the movie be bad?
Unfortunately, I couldn’t make myself like it. While the dog scenes were really cute, there just weren’t enough of them. Furthermore, and I realise this is the case in a lot of dog films, Lucky seemed to basically train himself. Although he was turned into the shelter by another farmer for not being a good herding dog, he seemed to be a natural when Henstridge’s character tried him on some sheep. It didn’t add up. I guess the idea was that the previous owner used aversive methods but the movie didn’t take the time to illustrate this properly. The craziest scene was when Lucky was able to adapt his herding skills on the fly in order to perform some incredibly intense search and rescue work. All on his own. I love heroic dog saving children moments but it just didn’t make sense.
My main fear when I watch movies that portray dogs performing unrealistic tasks is that people won’t understand all the work involved. Perhaps this is unfounded but I worry the public will see on-screen dogs that seem to teach themselves amazing skills and will assume they won’t need to put in any real effort to training their own dogs. While it was awesome to see a movie about a rescue that wasn’t aggressive or traumatized, I wonder if portraying Lucky as a superhero will do more harm than good to the numerous dogs currently in real-life shelters.
I could just be paranoid.
Regardless, I did learn from Dog Tipper the movie aired in support of the Best Friends Animal Society. You Lucky Dog definitely makes a positive statement in the name of pet adoption. In that case, I suppose I should overlook the plot holes and simply coo over the adorableness of it all.