Hotel for Dogs (2009) starring Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Don Cheadle, Johnny Simmons directed by Thor Freudenthal Movie Review

Hotel for Dogs (2009)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin in Hotel for Dogs (2009)

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Orphans Andi (Emma Roberts) and Bruce (Jake T. Austin) may officially be the responsibility of aging rockers Lois (Lisa Kudrow) and Carl Scudder (Kevin Dillon) but really they have to look after themselves. It is their ingenuity that has kept them together all these years but it is also their creativity which seems them continually getting in to trouble and having to call on the help of social worker Bernie (Don Cheadle) to get them out of trouble. It is why Andi and Bruce look after a stray dog called Friday, keeping him as their secret pet as he like them has to duck and dive to stay out of the dog pound and not always successfully. It is Friday which leads Andi and Bruce to an abandoned hotel where some stray dogs have been living and soon these two young orphans along with some new friends have secretly turned it in to a home for unwanted dogs. The trouble is can they keep it a secret especially when the dog catchers discover less strays dogs on the street.

Oh to be that age where the only worries on my shoulders were whether it would be chips for tea or the vegetables which my Mum knew I hated. If I was that age I am sure I would be completely charmed by "Hotel for Dogs" as it ticks a lot of boxes. To start with and in the tradition of "Annie" we have adorable orphans but here we have a bad rather than nasty foster mum in the comically over the top Lisa Kudrow who's hair extensions ends up on the kids food. Yes it's not original but for the right age group it is amusing as is these orphan's creativity from shrink wrapping a box of stones to try and pawn it for money to the gadgets which young Bruce makes such contraptions as a doggie lift using an old drill or an auto feeding device.

Lisa Kudrow in Hotel for Dogs (2009)

But we also have the cuteness and the comedy of a lot of dogs who thanks to the work of their handlers as well as the team behind the editing have better comic timing than many comedians. When a big dog howls because he can't see out the window and two smaller dogs in unison back under a bed it is genuinely amusing. And that is just one of countless fun scenes of dogs being comically clever or at least appearing to.

The trouble is that for any grown up who finds themselves stuck watching this with children it only has the one thing to offer which is the cute, cleverness of the dogs. But as I said once you look at it you can see that whilst there are some well trained dogs a lot of clever editing helps. In fairness there is also some creativity which will make you smile such as how these kids automate cleaning up after the dogs with a fire hydrant toilet and shrink wrapping on poo. But in general it is aimed understandably at children and has not a great deal for grown ups.

What this all boils down to is that "Hotel for Dogs" is amusing thanks to cute dogs and some creativity but understandably it is made for children and as such doesn't always have something to offer any grown up watching it.

Tags: Dog Movies