Lucky Dog

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Lucky Dog Movie Poster Image
Routine romcom with talking dogs and mild potty humor.
  • PG
  • 2015
  • 87 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Beautiful is what is inside, not outside. Values: smarts, caring, good companionship, reliable parenting.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Central character is single father who's committed to his kids, reliable, understanding, resourceful, and very loving. With the exception of his romantic interest, who is bright, warm, and accepting, the adult females are greedy, self-involved, ditsy, shallow, hysterical, or a combination of these. Some ethnic diversity in supporting players.

Violence & Scariness

Mild comic action: dog knocks over several women, man can't lift weights off chest, dad tumbles from a golf cart, dog chases assorted people.

Sexy Stuff

Some kissing and embracing between adults. Divorced mom has a live-in boyfriend and is referred to by her young daughter as having "kissed a lot of men."

Language

Canine potty humor: a dog pees on a man's shoe, dog farts, references to dog poop, butt sniffing, and "inability to control bowels." A woman vomits over the side of a boat.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink in social situations in a few scenes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lucky Dog, another in the long line of comic, talking-dog family movies, is more about romance than adventure. Of course, no talking-dog movie would be worthy of the genre if it didn't have some poop, fart, and pee jokes to go along with the frequent montages of dogs racing through city streets and through fields of flowers, making adorable mischief. A few scenes find Lucky chasing and careening into screaming women whom he sees as threats. Other comic action includes a man stuck with weights on his chest and the hero tumbling from a moving golf cart. With the exception of the good-natured female lead, adult women are negative stereotypes (shrewish, hysterical, dim). And kids will have to be willing to put up with some kissing and smooching along with their doggie escapades.

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What's the story?

In LUCKY DOG, Lucky (voiced by David Deluise), a fun-loving, romantic mutt is devoted to single dad Travis (Bryce Johnson), his master ... so devoted that he purposefully scares off any eligible young woman in Travis' vicinity. It's only Emma (Alexis Burnett) and Jared (Nolan Gross), Travis' terrific kids, whom Lucky will share him with. When Travis has weekend business on Catalina Island and takes Emma and Jared with him, new relationships burst onto the scene. For Lucky, it all begins at Doggie Daycare, when he's entranced by the vivacious pup Amy (voiced by Cat Deeley); for Travis it's Amber (Boti Bliss), Amy's bright and beautiful owner, whom he quickly discovers is going to Catalina too. In fact, Travis and Amber find themselves in the same architectural company competition for what may prove to be a career-changing design assignment. Alas, as every romance fan knows, obstacles initially keep them apart. In this case those obstacles are the zealous, neurotic company owner and the rich developer who has his sleazy, self-absorbed eye on Amber. There's a conflict of interest looming large, but Lucky and Travis both know their way around closing the deal. Emma and Jared couldn't be happier. 

Is it any good?

Routine and predictable, this subpar production is barely saved by two cute kids, a likable performance by lead Bryce Johnson, and an array of sassy, adorable mutts. Other than some fart, poop, and pee jokes, there's nothing objectionable here other than some grating, over-the-top adult performances, the mismatched shots, a silly business story, and overall weak direction. On the plus side, Catalina Island looks beautiful; the two child actors are engaging; and dogs running through fields of flowers can never be discounted entirely. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of talking-animal movies, especially dogs. How does humanizing animals make us laugh at or teach us something about our human selves?

  • Was Emma and Jared's mother a realistic character? Why do you think the filmmakers chose to portray her so negatively? Would you have liked Travis any less if his ex-wife had been a good mom?

  • Poop and pee jokes are always popular. Why do audiences, especially young ones, laugh?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love dogs

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