A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Dogwalker's Christmas Tale is a bit of froth about a superficial college student who doesn't understand why the guy she is dating dumps her for lack of substance. When she meets a veterinary student with a social conscience at a local dog park, he pursues her until her moral horizons broaden. Adults kiss.
What's the story?
In A DOGWALKER'S CHRISTMAS TALE, Luce (Lexi Giovagnoli) is majoring in interior design at college. When the Nietzsche- and Kierkegaard-obsessed guy she is dating lets her know he isn't interested because she is too shallow, she is hurt, but seems to immediately feel better when she decides to buy herself a consoling ruby necklace for Christmas. She's already maxed out her parents' credit card but she seems unconcerned and is looking forward to dressing up for a Christmas party and hanging with her equally shallow girlfriends. When her well-to-do neighbors need help with her dog, Luce unexpectedly takes a job walking their English sheepdog. She learns that the local dog park, dear to so many dog lovers and their pets, is set to be turned into a nail and massage spa by those same wealthy neighbors, who own the acreage. A charming veterinary student named Dean (Jonathan Bennett) cajoles her into protesting the park closure and using her influence with the land owners to abandon the spa project. Romance ensures and so does a little bit of kissing.
Is it any good?
The title here is as unimaginative and awkward as the movie itself, with a simplistic script demonstrating no understanding of human nature or why people do what they do. The budget must have been low as party scenes are glaringly quiet, sparsely populated, and set in rooms that lack furniture. Great filmmaking can rise above financial restrictions, but not this one. A Dogwalker's Christmas Tale showcases the filmmakers' lack of imagination -- it doesn't take much money to make an audio recording of a few people talking and clinking glasses. Just as disappointing, when Luce speaks of herself as a stylish, snappy dresser, it seems odd that there is no evidence of this on the screen. The acting quality matches the script. Jonathan Bennett plays Dean as the only hint of fresh air. He is relentlessly cheerful, struggling to rise above the dreary movie he's stuck in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how easy it is to become wrapped up in oneself and trivial matters, like Luce does in A Dogwalker's Christmas Tale. Do you think it's important to be concerned with the welfare of others? Why?
Is it a surprise that Luce is so insensitive to the dog park people when we know that her parents devote so much of their lives to charity and giving? Do you think this might be a sign that the filmmakers didn't think the plot through thoroughly?
Do you think that it's important to pick friends who can help us become better versions of ourselves? How do your friends make you a better person?
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