Dog Days follows the interconnected stories of several Los Angeles pet owners and their canine companions. Elizabeth (Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries) is the host of the Wake Up L.A. morning TV talk show. She recently caught her boyfriend, Peter (Ryan Hansen, Party Down), cheating on her, and is now taking care of the dog that they had rescued together. She lets the stress of her situation seep into her work, and after an on-air quarrel with guest athlete Jimmy (Tone Bell, Disjointed), the network decides the two should become co-hosts. At the same time, Elizabeth is seeing former on-air guest, pet therapist Denielle (Tig Notaro, One Mississippi), to discuss her dog’s problems, though it’s obvious she’s seeking advice for her own relationship issues.
In another part of town, Ruth (Jessica St. Clair, American Housewife, Playing House) is pregnant with twins and husband Greg (Thomas Lennon, Lethal Weapon) is trying everything to keep her relaxed and calm. But when her musician brother Dax (Adam Pally, The Mindy Project, Happy Endings) fails to show up to D.J. her baby shower, she goes into a full rage, which also sends her into labor. With newborns in the house, that means she needs someone to watch her dog, and that someone is Dax—the only problem is that his apartment building doesn’t allow pets, so he has to get creative.
In the same apartment building lives Tara (Vanessa Hudgens, Powerless), who works at a small coffee shop, often thinking about how she’s wasting her marketing degree. When she finds a stray dog outside the shop, she takes it to the vet across the street, giving her an excuse to get some face time with the hot Dr. Mike (Michael Cassidy, People of Earth). Since she’s not allowed to have a pet in her apartment, Tara takes the puppy to an animal shelter run by Garrett (Jon Bass, Big Time in Hollywood, FL), one of her regular customers. Garrett has a huge crush on Tara, and is constantly forgetting how to put together a coherent sentence when she’s around.
Finally, there’s husband and wife Grace (Eva Longoria, Telenovela, Desperate Housewives) and Kurt (Rob Corddry, Ballers, Childrens Hospital) who nervously await the arrival of their adopted daughter Amelia (Elizabeth Phoenix Caro). They try everything to prove they can be the cool parents, and make their new daughter feel welcome. But Amelia remains quiet and keeps to herself. That is, until they take in a stray dog, and Amelia becomes much more open, talkative and social. The problem is that that dog belongs to widower Walter (Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us), who has been desperately looking for his lost canine pal. Assisting him in this quest is unlikely friend, 16-year-old pizza delivery boy Tyler (Finn Wolfhard, Stranger Things).
I thoroughly enjoyed this feel-good movie—it is part romantic comedy, part heartwarming drama, but 100% fun. Just look at that amazing cast that includes so many great actors from television shows I’ve enjoyed over the years. The film has the typical rom-com fare, but with some unexpected turns—it would constantly zig when I expected it to zag. The writers have done an excellent job of interweaving these characters over the course of the film, giving them organic reasons to cross one another’s paths and interact. The world is fully fleshed out with additional side characters to add to the humor and fun, such as weather girl Alexa (Phoebe Neidhardt, Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later) who’s constantly having hilarious on-air breakdowns about the state of her life and career. They could have just added some snow and set it in New York, and this could have been a perfect holiday film.
FOX has decided to only release this title on DVD, and it doesn’t include a digital copy, so if you want to see it in HD, you will need to purchase the digital version. However, the good news is that the DVD presentation is pretty solid, with a clear, bright picture. It is missing the overall sharpness of a Blu-ray, but is still more than satisfactory. The audio track provides clear dialogue throughout. I never noticed anything that really stood out, but this is more dialogue heavy and not a big action film, so it never felt lacking. Unfortunately the DVD contains no bonus material, except for two trailers for other films. The DVD comes packed in a standard DVD keepcase without a slipcover.
- 480p / Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
- Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Closed Captioned
- Sneak Peek (4:10)
Play All, or select from trailers for
- Isle of Dogs (2:41)
- The Miracle Season (1:29)
Dog Days is a delightful romantic comedy featuring an amazing ensemble cast, and a fun collection of intertwining stories about the lives of various pet owners in Los Angeles. I would have given this release a Highly Recommended had it received a proper Blu-ray release with bonus features and a digital copy, however, the bare-bones (no pun intended) DVD release still comes recommended based on the quality of the film itself. However, those who don’t mind digital may want to go that route to get the HD version.