Beverly Hills Chihuahua
You don't go to a talking
dog movie expecting Oscar-caliber performances and writing, and you don't
get them in Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
However, if you take it for
what it is - a cute little children's comedy with rather broad lessons about
love, friendship and self-worth - it is actually a surprisingly winning
In a lot of ways you've
seen it all before - a dog gets lost far from home and must travel long
distances and endure hardships to get home. (You'll be seeing it again
really soon - from the same studio - in a few months when Disney releases the
animated film Bolt.)
Beverly Hills Chihuahua
gives this well-worn storyline a south-of-the-border spice (the talking
dogs - even the ones who aren't chihuahuas, all have Mexican accents) and an
odd Viva Zapata! style class warfare subplot, but in general it's
just a pampered pooch who has to learn to live on the road with the help of
the friends she makes on the way.
Drew Barrymore plays Chloe,
the pampered Chihuahua of a Hollywood power broker played by Jamie Lee
Curtis (didn't she retire from acting a couple of years ago so that she
could devote her time to raising her children?).
Chloe is one of those purse
dogs - spoiled, yappy, stuck up and usually dressed in matching sweaters and
little booties. She also has white fur while most of the other
chihuahuas in the movie have darker brown fur - is this a little
heavy-handed ethnic editorial comment?
One of these darker
chihuahuas is Papi (George Lopez), the gardener's dog who is always dirty,
but is street smart and often declares his true love for Chloe, who just
looks down on the working dog as beneath her.
When her owner has to leave
the country, Chloe is left in the care of her niece (Piper Perabo), who
takes her on a party weekend to Mexico and then loses the dog.
Suddenly Chloe is left to her own devices and must make it back over the
border with the help of a former police dog who left the force in disgrace
(Andy Garcia). Meanwhile Papi, the gardener and the niece all head
back down to Mexico to save the debutant dog.
None of this is really
surprising (though a scene where they stumble on a lost land of chihuahuas
comes close - mostly for all the wrong reasons). However, it is also
mostly pretty entertaining.
It goes without saying that
children will love Beverly Hills Chihuahua, but the nice surprise is
that adults won't be begging to get out.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2008 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: October 12, 2008.