Friday, October 17, 2008

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Beverly Hills Chihuahua is a likeable little movie that employs real people and dogs, but adds a little animation to help the dogs have their conversations.

Jamie Lee Curtis' character, Viv, is a successful Beverly Hills businesswoman whose dog, Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore), is the light of her life. We see many shots early in the movie where Viv takes her beloved white little girl to the spa, to the pool, dressing her up in a number of crazy-but-cute outfits. Thankfully, that's not the end-all and be-all of this movie.

When Viv leaves for a business trip in Europe, she entrusts Chloe to her niece, played by Piper Perabo, who is a party animal. She and her girlfriends go to Mexico for the weekend, and while they're out at a bar one night, Chloe escapes the hotel room. She's immediately picked up by the bad guys, and put into a dangerous situation in a dog fight. The rest of the movie is about how Chloe befriends the dog who helps her escape, Delgado (voiced by Andy Garcia), and the two try to make it to Beverly Hills.

It has some cute dialogue:

Chloe: I don't belong here. I'm an heiress.
Manuel: A hairless?
Chloe: No, an heiress.

I think we all recognize that lines like that won't appeal to kids, but they do make the movie bearable for the rest of us. However, I was a bit surprised that there weren't more jokes about chihuahuas, and funny lines about them. Most of the dialogue advances the plot and/or the growth of the characters themselves. And I find that refreshing.

I also found refreshing the fact that after a bit of time I wasn't thinking about whose voice I was hearing. The voices mesh well with the characters. And there was no sign, nada, of Mexican stereotypes. Yay! And we got a little bit of Mexican culture thrown in, to boot.

Did I like this movie? Aye, chihuahua!

Thumb's up.

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