The Dog Lover’s Guide to Dating

Bad Doggy!

Based on the lively previews, I was looking forward to this first Hallmark offering of 2023. I’m sorry to say that it was very disappointing. Especially considering the sometimes stellar parade of Christmas movies. The first scene with a dog getting away from Corey Sevier and creating havoc among picnickers in a park was entertaining and amusing, but it went downhill from there. Plot and character-wise, it ended up dull and mediocre throughout, although the script had some semi-clever lines, occasionally.

Corey Sevier plays an advertising guy who is trying to get together with a beautiful model turned designer, We know she is meant to be shallow and “not worthy”  by her valley girl inflections and vocal fry. Her dog is a hindrance to the insipient romance as he is badly behaved and doesn’t like Corey. After Corey is rescued by our dog-trainer heroine from the ruckus in the park, he hires her to train the dog or help him train the dog, or train him to handle the dog, or something.

I didn’t like her. Her character has been stunted by her father’s abandonment of her and her sister when they were young girls. She refuses to be open to a relationship with a human man because of course she expects every man to be unreliable and to abandon her as her father did. Instead, she showers all her love on her dog while still acting flirty with the two main men. Dogs are famously loyal and reliable, as we are reminded throughout. We know this girl needs therapy when in the first scene we see her fixing an elaborate breakfast complete with a cheese omelet, bacon, hashbrowns, fresh sliced tomatoes, and garnished with parsley. For her dog. Meanwhile, she eats a power bar. I guess this was supposed to be cute and endearing but to me, it just came across as silly, stupid, and very unhealthy for her pet. This wasn’t just a treat. This is every morning. And from someone who either should have known better or just doesn’t care. Despite her likable and sensible sister’s advice and counseling, she remains stuck throughout the whole movie, causing her to be very annoying. There was no growth. She just finally listens to her sister and changes her mind at the end. The actress was a fresh face and had talent. She even kind of had a Julia Roberts thing going on with her hair down. It wasn’t her fault.

Besides my dislike of the heroine, I found Corey Sevier’s performance in this one a little off as well. Can’t quite put my finger on it, I have liked him in the past and he did have a couple of good scenes in this. I found the vet who was his rival for the dog trainer’s affections a little creepy and vaguely sinister. The subplot of “save the dog shelter” is the excuse for Corey and dog girl to spend time together. It also serves to keep the rivals for the couple’s affections in the picture. Presumably amping up the tension and suspense. What a laugh. The scheme they came up with was unbelievable and contrived. He is putting his talents to work by throwing an exclusive gala and silent auction to scrape up the money for the shelter’s owner to buy the building which is being sold out from under her. They didn’t even try to make any aspect of this scheme even vaguely credible. So unlikable and uninteresting characters, a silly plot, not enough humor, and irresponsible pet ownership. Not good.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

17 thoughts on “The Dog Lover’s Guide to Dating

  1. It was horrid. I sat through the early chaos, reluctantly, the “sit” part was cute, and stopped instantly when the coffee got spilled. 6 minutes….didn’t even see one ad…didn’t even check out the ending. That’ll teach ’em.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with almost everything you say, except I didn’t like the sister at all. I’m not sure I could call my sister decades after our dad left and say, ‘I know you’re having a difficult time today because it’s dad’s birthday.’ Honestly, get some therapy already.
    I thought I liked Cory Sevier and am not completely writing him off but he wasn’t appealing in this movie. I don’t like wackiness as a rule and it just seemed annoying, starting with ruining the picnics and including, yes, the coffee spill meet-cute. The omelet for the dog was ridiculous. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to warm people to her; it’s an outrage for anyone with dogs, and an eye-roller for everyone else. I thought I had accidentally tuned into a movie from 2015 when they decided to plan a ‘gala’ for a few days from now. I mean, I’m free next Wednesday but I find it hard to believe all these high-powered, big-money people are.
    I really enjoyed a lot of Christmas Countdown this past season, but this movie was a dud.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not sure where we disagree at all! Going by the sisters insight into how messed up the lead character was she probably did try to get her into therapy. She certainly needed it. I did like her though and the actress. That gala was a total joke. Such lazy writing. And should have not even been necessary to shoehorn that in there. I think Corey does better with more serious low key roles.


  3. I actually thought the movie was light hearted and good. The scenery was beautiful only to find out it was shot in Newfoundland Canada although US flags were shown. It’s a Hallmark movie and you need to lighten up, nasty comments about the actors shows me that the people commenting has there own Daddy issues. The movie was a good start for the year. But what do I know, I’ve only started in TV shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, gee, Greg. I’m glad this worked for you. I’ve seen some superb Hallmarks in the last 3 months, but this one just didn’t measure up for the reasons I detailed. “Nastiness” is sometimes called for in giving a candid opinion, but in this case, I was referring to their roles as written, not the actors.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought the first half was good and fun. But then there was so much wrong with the second half. Pretty much what you said. Maybe rushed script. And the secondary characters were annoyingly nosy (her sister) and creepy (not only Alex’s vet date but also Simon’s co-worker who seemed to have designs of his own on her). Not sure if Alex’s emotional limitations were due to her Dad problems or the actress. Hope to see her in future movies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought there was something a little “off” with that vet! I think her problems were in the script and not the fault of the actor. Loved the sister! Don’t remember too much about Simon’s co-worker, but you are probably on to something.


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