Dogs (and cats too) can be the stars of movies. Rin Tin Tin and Lassie are classic animal film stars … Old Yeller too (that was a tearjerker), Cujo (scary) and we all know the animated ones from Charlie and Itchy in All Dogs Go to Heaven to all of those little spotty guys and gals in 101 Dalmatians.
But what happens when personifying the family pet becomes an obsession? That’s what Kasi Brown and Brandon Walter have cooked up in the Indican Pictures’ July 10 (yes, a Friday street date) theatrical and DVD release of Gone Doggy Gone.
Based on their own experiences, Brown and Walter co-wrote, co-directed and star is this award-winning comedy (wins at the 2014 Edmonton International Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival and more) as Abby and Eliott Harmon, self-obsessed thirty-somethings who have little time for a family, but plenty of time for Laila, their Yorkshire Terrier.
Now filmmakers Brown and Walter could have played this dog-obsession story several different ways. A drama (sad couple meet tragedy) or perhaps a family-themed tale (young couple love their dog and make personal sacrifices to ensure its well-being), but what we have with Gone Doggy Gone is both a knockout-slapstick comedy and a satire on pet culture run amok.
The set up involves a series of slice-of-life sequences that set up the relationship between Abby and Eliott and Laila and then we get to the introduction of their friend Jill (Shaina Vorspan), a wide-eyed, sad-sack waif of a woman who is recruited to dog-sit while more pressing issues are dealt with.
She is smitten with her new “best friend” and everything is absolutely wonderful … until poor Laila is dognapped!!!
From this point forward it is the doggy-version of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. A road trip, a ransom video, screwy friends, even goofier detectives and a couple unhinged that are all thrown at you at a breakneck pace. And then there’s Jill … we say no more. Gone Doggy Gone is laugh-out-loud funny!!!