The Truth About Cats And Dogs Review

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A petite, brunette vet gets her lithe, blonde model friend to pretend to be her to attract a man, but soon regrets her decision.


After his career nearly expired with twin flops Hudson Hawk and Airheads, it was a relief to see Heathers man Michael Lehmann bound to the top of the American box office with this warm-hearted romantic comedy that's capped with a trio of winning performances. While the title ostensibly refers to a radio phone-in pet advice programme, it also plays on the eternal variations between men and women, with amusingly telling observations on what, whom and why we love.

Abby (Garofalo, charming in her first lead role) is short, dark and cuddly. Her neighbour Noelle (Thurman) is gorgeous, tall, thin and blonde. Abby is a smart, hilarious vet who dishes out pet advice on an LA radio station. Noelle is a model. It isn't hard to guess who gets all the male attention.

Then, one day, Brian (Chaplin, no doubt soon to be dubbed The Next Hugh Grant after this appealing Hollywood debut) rings Abby's show with a canine crisis and is taken by her personality. Attempting to meet her, he mistakes her babe buddy Noelle for the voice of his dreams. The women sustain the deception, creating all manner of complications - ranging from the wrong girl forced to give a turtle a rectal examination, to an awesomely embarrassing phone sex marathon.

While the ultimate lesson here is that what you see is not really what you get, it's arguably fatuous that the dazzling blonde should be dizzy as well, and somehow it all works out far too nicely to be true. But former DJ Audrey Wells' crafty screenplay brims with truths about the sexes, providing great lines for Garofalo, and great business for Thurman's confused waif, and cranks the feelgood factor up so high it's almost off the scale. In other words, there's plenty here to send you out purring.

Funny, feelgood rom-com.