MUST LOVE DOGS (2005) 

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Diane Lane
John Cusack
Elizabeth Perkins
Dermot Mulroney
Christopher Plummer
Stockard Channing
Julie Gonzalo
Glenn Howerton
Brad William Henke

Gary David Goldberg



Time: 98 mins.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Romantic Comedy

SYNOPSIS: A recently divorced, thirty-something year old teacher has a family that just can't help getting involved in her personal life, or lack there of. After her sister puts her profile on PerfectMatch.com, she goes on a number of dates in her search for a new Mr. Right.

BOTTOM LINE: This is a Lifetime movie elevated to feature status only because of its' first-rate cast. It seems Diane Lane has now become the everywoman looking for love – a market once cornered by Meg Ryan. Lucky for us, she's not only pretty, but smart and funny as well, which she really needs to be with a script like this. It's great that Hollywood is actually trying to make films for women over 25, but they have to do better than this. The online dating angle is a good one considering that's how many ladies are finding love these days. That her sister secretly signed her up is also funny and accurate. It's just that once that feat is accomplished, the plot kind of dies in the middle as she is forced to endure one bad situation after another.

Granted finding love is never easy, especially on the big screen, but the reasons keeping her and her true love apart seem more convoluted and annoying than usual. Cusack is excellent as always as the perfect everyman who can never find the right moment to seal the deal. He and Lane spark appropriately, they're just never given enough screen time to make you really feel it. The supporting cast is also better than usual (especially Perkins and Channing); unfortunately they aren't utilized to their full potential either. Not the worst film made about finding love in the modern era, it's just not one that will make your heart burst with romance. A waste of a good cast and not exactly worth your time, unless you really like this sort of thing.

"It's a long story, something about the violation of expectations and a crushing loss of faith, and love, and life, and art."

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