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Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

AS AN adult who isn’t particularly a big fan of dogs Beverly Hills Chihuahua seems like a very poor excuse for a movie. Even fans of the concept may ponder how the hell it got made!

Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore) is a diamond-clad, bootie-wearing Chihuahua who lives a luxurious lifestyle on Beverly Hills with her devoted owner, Viv (Jamie Lee Curtis).

When Viv goes away on a business trip, however, and leaves her in the charge of the much less reliable Rachel (Piper Perabo), it’s not long before she finds herself stranded and abandoned in Mexico and having to fend for herself. And while Rachel bids to find her with the help of a besotted fellow Chihuahua named Papi (voiced by George Lopez), Chloe is forced to evade a local dog fighting ring by hanging out with a former police dog (voiced by Andy Garcia) and any other canines who can help her get back home.

For kids, there is a certain amount of satisfaction to be found in what ensues from Raja Gosnell’s movie. Its message is worthy, it’s not without the odd charming moment and it’s by no means as barkingly bad as it could have been. But that doesn’t mean it should be encouraged…

That said, Beverly Hills Chihuahua is an incredible film for two reasons: firstly, the vocal talent behind it is impressive (Garcia and Bayymore are joined by the likes of Luis Guzman, Edward James Olmos and Placido Domingo), while the film actually managed to keep Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Body of Lies off the top spot when it opened in America last year.

But in most other respects, it does struggle to justify its existence. The messages, while admirable, are fairly obvious and concentrate on being true to who you are and not discriminating against anyone. While the performances feel overly sweet and tailored towards the family-friendly Disney market.

But most of the situations feel contrived, the sight of dogs in clothes (let alone bikinis!) is just plain wrong, and the film feels ridiculously overlong even at 98 minutes. So, while the youngest kids will probably be entertained, Beverly Hills Chihuahua felt like a ruff way to make a living for this particular journalist!

Certificate: PG
Running time: 98mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: May 25, 2009