- Matthew Turner
- 27 June 2018
Lazy rom-com that delivers in canine capers what it lacks in laughs
Beattie Edmondson (daughter of Adrian Edmondson and Jennifer Saunders) has a crack at proving the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree in this pug-centric British romantic comedy. Her choice of vehicle is rather light on both elements, but it does have an adorable mutt in it, so its target audience of dog-lovers are unlikely to be wholly disappointed.
Edmondson stars as Bridget Jones-esque singleton Sarah Francis, who somehow manages to live in a spacious flat in Richmond on a teacher's salary. When her grandmother dies, dog-hating Sarah inherits the titular pug and the trouble-making little scamp quickly turns her life upside down. However, he's also something of a man-magnet and soon Sarah has to decide between a hunky-but-full-of-himself vet (Ed Skrein) and kind-hearted fellow dog-walker Ben (Tom Bennett).
Edmondson is an appealing presence and has a sense of timing that does justice to her heritage, while director Mandie Fletcher (Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie) has the nous to surround her with accomplished comic character actors like Adrian Scarborough, and Saunders – of course. However, you're left in no doubt as to whose show this is, and your enjoyment will be directly proportional to your tolerance of canine reaction shots, or sequences involving pugs destroying things.
Script-wise, this is the laziest material imaginable, with a reliance on only-in-a-rom-com convenience that's unintentionally the most amusing thing in the film. The jokes themselves mostly revolve around Sarah's life being a total disaster ('Oh no! I'm going to be late on my first day!', and so on), while her two would-be suitors are so thinly sketched that sparks are out of the question. Still, the entire thing is so relentlessly bright and breezy that, much like the scrunchy-faced pooch himself, it eventually wins you over, even if it never quite delivers the promised laughs.
General release from Fri 29 Jun.