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  • Must Love Dogs

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on January 4th, 2006

    Overall
    Film
    Video
    Audio
    Extras
    (out of 5)

    Synopsis

    Diane Lane has been divorced for eight months and still isn’t in a new relationship, which, according to everyone around her, is a situation on par with lymphoma. At any rate, her sister posts her profile on an Internet match-making site, and a date with the recently divorced and incurably romantic John Cusack ensues. Things get off to a rocky start, though, and there’s the hunky divorced father of one of her preschool students who also catches her interest. What road will lead to true love?…/p>

    The very well-travelled one, of course. This doesn’t need to be a bad thing, and hope is certainly raised by the caliber of the leads. Cusack’s character is given some great lines in his exchanges with his best friend, but Lane is hobbled by the fact that her character isn’t really that likeable. She is guilty of the same behaviour that so upsets her in the aforementioned hunky father, and her neuroses become quite grating very quickly. Since she is the centre of the film (Cusack isn’t much more than a supporting character), this is a problem.

    Audio

    The sound is clear. It’s crisp. It’s free of any kind of distortion. All to the good. But it is also very low in volume and generally lacking in energy. Even the music has very little surround presence, and the lack of power was so pronounced, I had to pop another DVD in the machine to make sure the problem wasn’t with my speakers. When a bass line did kick in, it was so pronounced with respect to the rest of the sound that it stuck out like a sore thumb. There’s some decent use of surround for the background music in the strip club scene, but otherwise, there are hardly any surround elements at all.

    Video

    The picture, on the other hand, is very strong. The image is razor sharp, the excellent colours are warm, and the contrasts and blacks are both beyond reproach. Flesh tones are also very good. There is no grain or visible edge enhancement, and the aspect ratio is the full 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture is always bright, and never murky (which might sound like an odd comment to make about a romantic comedy, but there still are a number of night scenes).

    Special Features

    Surprisingly slight. Writer/director/co-producer Gary David Goldberg provides a commentary track only for the four deleted scenes, not for the feature itself. The gag reel is two fluffed takes of the same shot, and there’s the trailer. Not much. The menu’s main screen is animated and scored.

    Closing Thoughts

    Though not an unenjoyable way to spend 98 minutes, this could have been so much more, given the two leads and supporting cast that includes Stockard Channing and Christopher Plummer.

    Special Features List

    • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
    • Gag Reel
    • Theatrical Trailer
    Posted In: 2.35:1 Widescreen, Comedy, Disc Reviews, Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (French), DVD, Warner Bros.

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