Parents' Guide to

I Heart Shakey

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Father-daughter dog tale swings from sweet to over the top.

Movie PG 2012 90 minutes
I Heart Shakey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

I HEART SHAKEY's premise, albeit predictable, is promising, and the two primary actors (Broken Lizard alum Lemme and newcomer Behr) are genuinely likable. A father and daughter teaming up to save their beloved dog? It's the stuff family movies are made of, and Lemme and Behr are actually good enough actors to make their pitiful situation believable. Unfortunately, the movie has far too many manic, exaggerated characters to be enjoyable when Lemme and Behr have to share the screen with them.

The story takes a considerable turn for the worse once the ridiculously snooty and scowling manager, Ms. Willinger (Janet Ulrich Brooks), makes her first appearance. The role should have been played with the devilish subtlety that Imelda Staunton brought to her role as Professor Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter, but instead she's depicted as an even more deranged Cruella De Vil (obviously) who bulges her eyes like the Bride of Frankenstein. And she's not even the worst offender -- practically every other adult in the film is a stereotype, particularly the laughably flamboyant Mattias (Philippe Brenninkmeyer), who owns the restaurant where J.T. works, and the militaristic Stubbs (Steve Guttenberg). If you can overlook the overacting and focus on the father-daughter-dog triangle, it's possible to like Shakey -- but heart it? Probably not.

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