Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
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Puppy Love movie review: Lucy Hale and Grant Gustin’s bland, forgettable entry into the rom-com genre


Ahead of Valentine’s Day 2024, the latest romantic comedy on offer is Prime Video’s Puppy Love, a sweet, if forgettable, entry into the beloved genre. Even if the cheesy, off-key title doesn’t seem appealing enough, this is the story of two socially awkward individuals, who find each other thanks to their pets. You have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)), has no inhibitions regarding privacy or space. What are the chances that you’ll spend some time together and fall in love along the way? The trope has been played a million times, and Puppy Love does very little to add freshness to it. (Also Read: Improved Movie Review: Camila Mendes Leads This Lively But Formulaic Romantic Comedy)

A still from Puppy Love, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The premise of Puppy Love

Directed by Nick Fabiano and Richard Alan Reid, Puppy Love begins with Max Stevenson (Grant Gustin), a talkative man who is troubled by his own OCD issues and minutes away from having his next nervous breakdown. His therapist isn’t much help and suggests a “mirror” trick and then adopting a dog from a shelter. He finds Chloe and together they share a lovely moment. He does most of the talking while she listens silently. What more could Max want?

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Moving in parallel is Nicole (Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Lies), who has a huge commitment phobia and can’t get her family to not look at her as a complete failure for once. Her real estate management job is going quite well, but the impulsive Nicole adopts a stray dog ​​that scavenges through the dumpster in her apartment. She names the puppy Channing Tatum.

By chance, both Nicole and Max hit each other on Bumble and meet at the park with their pets. It all goes wrong very soon, when Max vomits after eating the spicy chicken she suggested. Worse yet, his dogs get too comfortable with each other and fornicate. They end the day on a sour note and promise to never see each other again.

Puppy Love kicks into high gear when Max discovers that Chloe is now pregnant, meaning Nicole has no choice but to accept this unexpectedly fun situation and raise their dogs together during the pregnancy. Now, if you’ve been following the story so far, you know exactly where the rest of the story is going.

Final thoughts

The problem arises not in predictability but in half-baked storytelling. Puppy Love could have explored and developed these two characters along the way; where Max’s OCD comes from, his fascination with collecting movie artifacts, or even his corporate work life, but the writing reduces his problems to clichΓ©-ridden moments that don’t paint a realistic perspective on existence with such a serious problem. Nicole doesn’t even have a proper arc that can make her intentions seem less than tone-deaf or inconsiderate after spending so much time with Max. Together, their romance never hits the mark, even when Puppy Love takes its time getting to that point in the first place.

Puppy Love feels too tidy, too constructed, and too safe for its own good. He plays with a great, well-intentioned idea, but fails to add the right amount of fire to it. For a change, I was reminded of Silver Linings Playbook and how explosively volatile those characters felt on their own turf. Is there such room for intrigue and warmth in Puppy Love? The answer is no.

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