Jake T. Austin and Emma Roberts hope Dogs barks up good box office.
HOTEL FOR DOGS (Thor Freudenthal). 100 minutes. Opens Friday (January 16). Rating: NN
Hotel For Dogs is the latest of a litter of canine movies to make you go "aww" over its furry stars.
Two problem-child orphans (Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin) turn an abandoned hotel into a tricked-out Chuck E. Cheese-like safe house for strays. The dogs run on treadmills, eat at assembly-line feeders and take leaks at fire hydrants with plumbing. It's all so obnoxiously cute that you'll almost forget you're watching a bad movie.
It's the human story that reminds you.
Lisa Kudrow (looking like a poodle) and Don Cheadle (looking lost) can't save this from the paper-thin caricatures they play and the lame shticks that pass for humour.
But a warning to parents: kids are susceptible to this material. A child turned to her dad after the screening I attended and demanded that he get her a dog. Now, that was frightening.