Cute kids + cuter dogs = one doggone cute movie.
Emma Roberts (niece of Julia) stars in the movie based on the popular book by Lois Duncan about an orphaned brother and sister who rescue stray dogs.
Andi (Roberts) and Bruce (Jake T. Austin) have bounced around from foster home to foster home since their parents died. No one wants them because they insist on staying together. They are currently living with nasty would-be rock stars (Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon), who padlock the kitchen cupboards, as their sympathetic social worker Bernie (a terrific Don Cheadle) tries to find them a better situation. They do their best to take care of their beloved dog Friday, even if it means lying, cheating, and stealing.
When Friday runs into an abandoned hotel and meets up with some stray dogs, the kids decide to turn it into doggie heaven. Bruce, a mechanical whiz, rigs up machines to handle the dogs’ needs (eating, exercise, and going to the bathroom) and their fondest desires (racing to see who’s at the door, riding in cars, howling at the moon). With the help of some new friends from the pet store and the neighborhood, they round up all of the local strays, creating their own family of humans and canines. And that is when things start to get out of hand.
It goes on a little too long, but the kids are appealing, the contraptions are very funny, the dogs are adorable, and the affection, loyalty, and resilience of the characters is touching and inspiring. It’s a family treat.