Review: Dog Days is an ensemble comedy with a shagginess thats part of its charm

DOG DAYS (Ken Marino). 113 minutes. Opens Friday (August 10). See listing. Rating: NNNKen Marinos Dog Days is a little.


DOG DAYS (Ken Marino). 113 minutes. Opens Friday (August 10). See listing. Rating: NNN

Ken Marinos Dog Days is a little on the long side, and kind of predictable, but maybe the shagginess is part of its appeal. (That pun certainly was predictable. Im so sorry.)

An ensemble comedy about a dozen or so people in Los Angeles and the dogs that bring them together, Marinos second feature has a big, generous heart and a pleasant and unhurried pace, allowing for everyone in the cast to have a genuine moment or two as they go through the standard meet-cutes, misunderstandings and minor tragedies.

How standard? Well, stop me if youve heard any of these before: Nina Dobrev and Tone Bell are mismatched morning-show anchors Vanessa Hudgens is a barista who pines for a hunky vet (Michael Cassidy) while ignoring an awkward nice guy (Jon Bass) and Adam Pally is a no-account musician who learns responsibility while caring for his sisters mutt.

Oh, and Finn Wolfhard is a snarky teen who learns to respect his elders while helping a widower (Ron Cephas Jones) look for his lost pug which has wound up with a couple (Eva Longoria, Rob Corddry) trying to coax their newly adopted daughter (Elizabeth Phoenix Caro) out of her shell.

Its comfort food, and Marino has no illusions about that there is no edge to this film whatsoever but neither does he condescend to Elissa Matsueda and Erica Oyamas script, playing it straight while still finding room in almost every scene for a comic ringer like Tig Notaro, Lauren Lapkus, Jessica St. Clair, John Gemberling, Ryan Hansen and his old State pals Thomas Lennon and David Wain to turn up and deliver a sideways line reading or unexpected bit of business.

Good dogs, too.

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