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Must Love Dogs

Where to Watch Must Love Dogs


"Must Love Dogs" is a heartwarming, dog-filled romcom released in 2005, that features an ensemble cast led by the charming Diane Lane and the endearing John Cusack. The former plays the recently divorced and romantically jaded preschool teacher Sarah Nolan, and Cusack portrays Jake Anderson, an affable, albeit slightly eccentric, boat builder still pining for a love that was lost.

The film opens with Sarah Nolan, a beloved school teacher, dealing with the reality of her recent divorce from her high school sweetheart. She struggles to reconcile where her life lead her against what she thought her life would be at forty. However, her large, boisterous Irish-American family refuses to let her wallow, and despite her reservations, they plunge her back into the dating scene with the help of technology – an online dating website.

Sarah's overzealous sister, Carol (Elizabeth Perkins), opens a profile for her. She uses the phrase "must love dogs," tapping into Sarah's love for her dog, Mother Teresa, as a key criterion for potential suitors from the dating site, though Sarah has lost her faith in finding that elusive, meaningful connection.

On the other side of the coin, we meet Jake Anderson, who is quite the hopeless romantic himself. He's recovering from a devastating breakup that has left him cynical and closed-off. His friend Charlie, a zealous Casanova-type, urges him to dip his toes back into the pool of dating. Unbeknownst to Sarah and Jake, their paths converge when Jake responds to her online ad, intrigued by the title that insists the prospective lover must also be a dog lover.

'Must Love Dogs' is directed by Gary David Goldberg and is a cinematic adaptation of Claire Cook's novel bearing the same title. The movie is filled with captivating, often hilarious narratives and complicated situations around 'modern' dating. It's marked by an insightful play on the irony of how technological advancements in the dating world do not necessarily make finding true love any easier or less awkward.

This warm and sensitive romantic comedy balances humor and romantic tension while offering meaningful reflections on love, vulnerability, and moving past heartbreak. Diane Lane and John Cusack bring their characters to life with their nuanced performances, accurately capturing the awkwardness and insecurities faced by middle-aged people newly thrust back into the dating game. They shine in their individual roles and have infectious chemistry when sharing the screen.

The movie features an excellent supporting cast. Elizabeth Perkins provides quintessential older sister vibes, constantly pushing Sarah with a blend of encouragement and exasperation. Dermot Mulroney adds an interesting twist as Sarah's other love interest, Bob Connor. Meanwhile, Christopher Plummer, as Sarah's vibrant father, scores several scene-stealing moments. Rounding off with Stockard Channing's portrayals of Dolly, a woman exploring love in her later years, the ensemble cast helps to enhance the movie, creating a comfortingly familiar backdrop to Sarah's often tumultuous journey.

Set in the backdrop of suburban landscapes and urban parks, jazz clubs, and elementary schools, this film delivers emotional depth and relatable situations, making for a charming exploration of romance discovered and rediscovered, with our faithful four-legged friends playing more than just a background role.

The movie wonderfully encapsulates various forms of love, not just the romantic kind but also the love between siblings, parents and children, friends, and of course, love for our furry friends. It is about navigating the pitfalls of modern dating, the complexities of family dynamics, and the courage required in opening oneself up to love again after heartbreak.

Moreover, it subtly hints about embracing the unpredictability of life and the joy of stepping outside of one's comfort zone – strikingly depicted through Sarah and Jake's experiences in navigating through their complex emotional worlds.

In essence, "Must Love Dogs" is a classic romantic comedy that is perfectly enjoyable for both dog lovers and those searching for a heartfelt and genuinely amusing film about looking for love. It's a lighthearted and charming examination of the nuances of love and companionship at different stages of life, all underscored by the constant presence and unerring loyalty of man's best friend.

Must Love Dogs is a Romance, Comedy movie released in 2005. It has a runtime of 98 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.9. It also holds a MetaScore of 46.

How to Watch Must Love Dogs

Where can I stream Must Love Dogs movie online? Must Love Dogs is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Must Love Dogs for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Gary David Goldberg
Diane Lane, John Cusack, Dermot Mulroney, Elizabeth Perkins, Stockard Channing, Christopher Plummer
Also directed by Gary David Goldberg
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