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HEAVY PETTING: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Charlie (Brendan Hines) and his flatmate Res (Kevin Sussman) are the ultimate dog cynics. When Charlie meets Daphne (Malin Akerman) - the girl of his dreams - he never expects he'll have to battle past her pet dog Babydoll to woo her. And just when it seems he can't beat the beast and all is lost, something unexpected happens.

Review by Louise Keller:
It's adorable from start to finish, this love triangle involving a guy, a girl and a dog. Boy meets girl; girl loves dog; boy hates dog; relationship is in jeopardy. That's the scenario. But the story delivers a twist as well as a quirky set of characters that complement the central love story. Writer, director and producer Marcel Sarmiento is obviously a dog lover and this rom com with a difference is funny, cute and engaging, offering a thoroughly enjoyable entertainment distraction.

In the opening scene, we meet Brendan Hines' Charlie and his roommate Res (Kevin Sussman) commiserating on the difficulties of meeting the perfect girl ('Dogs and fish don't have as much trouble'). Stepping into a pile of doggie doo seems to be ultimate irony. Then Charlie meets Malin Akerman's Daphne, whose dog-crazy attitude is at odds with his own. He says: Girls like dogs because boyfriends and husbands don't understand their moods. She says: Guys like dogs because they don't talk back. What follows is the hilarious journey of love despite and due to man's best friend. Hines and Akerman make an appealing couple, while Sussman ('dog chicks are a totally diff breed') has comedic appeal as the sceptic who rummages through dumpsters in search of hidden treasures. I also like Juan (Juan Carlos Hernández), who helps Charlie run his Coffee Emporium ('never lie to a woman until after you're married') and the two old codgers (Sam Coppola, Allie Woods Jr.), who critique more than just the new blends of coffee bean.

There's only one thing you can do that the dog can't, says Rass, when it becomes obvious that Daphne's new black and white pooch Babydoll with the black eyepatch and cute expression is major competition to Charlie and Daphne's relationship. But consuming the relationship proves to be much tougher than expected (the first kiss becomes less than passionate, when Daphne's face is covered with dog saliva), turning into a comedy of errors that offers surprising obstacles and humiliations (such as Babydoll chewing Charlie's only condom). Then comes the turnaround with a man-to-dog talk, bonding over pizza on a rainy night (have you noticed how key movie scenes always seem to take place when it's raining?), a tennis ball and being locked out in the middle of night. I caught myself smiling throughout this uplifting film that offers plenty of chuckles as well as dog lovers' eye candy.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

HEAVY PETTING: DVD (M)
(US, 2007)

CAST: Malin Akerman, Brendan Hines, Kevin Sussman, Juan Carlos Hernandez, Eric Zuckerman, Steven Rosen

PRODUCER: Marcel Sarmiento, Peter Glatzer, Vince P. Maggio

DIRECTOR: Marcel Sarmiento

SCRIPT: Marcel Sarmiento

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tim Ives

EDITOR: David Codron, Phyllis Housen

MUSIC: Julian Nott

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mark White

RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: none

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: All Interactive

DVD RELEASE: June 28, 2009







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