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Film / Dog Days (2018)

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Dog Days is a 2018 comedy film directed by Ken Marino. It features five subplots involving groups of people who are connected by their dogs:
  • Walter (Ron Cephas Jones), an old widower, is heartbroken when his pug Mabel runs away. Teenage pizza boy Tyler (Finn Wolfhard), who was partially responsible for Mabel's disappearance, helps Walter look for her. Walter returns the favor by becoming Tyler's tutor.
  • After a disastrous but highly-rated interview between newscaster Liz (Nina Dobrev) and ex-NFL football player Jimmy (Tone Bell), the network hires Jimmy as Liz's new co-host; although Liz is upset about this at first, she and Jimmy soon learn to get along, especially since Liz's dog Sam and Jimmy's dog Brandy instantly make friends.
  • Barista Tara (Vanessa Hudgens) finds an abandoned dog and is delighted to have an excuse to talk to hot veterinarian Dr. Mike (Michael Cassidy). Dr. Mike places the dog in the New Tricks shelter, whose owner Garrett (Jon Bass) names her Gertrude. Tara volunteers to work at the shelter.
  • When Ruth (Jessica St. Clair) has twins, she and her husband Greg (Thomas Lennon) dump their dog Charlie on Ruth's irresponsible musician brother Dax (Adam Pally). This is a problem, because Dax's building doesn't allow dogs.
  • Finally, Kurt (Rob Corddry) and Grace (Eva Longoria) have recently adopted a young girl named Amelia (Elizabeth Caro). They struggle to connect with her, but things look up when the family takes in a pug Amelia found wandering the streets, not knowing the pug actually belongs to Walter.

Dog Days contains examples of:

  • Amazing Freaking Grace: Dr. Mike's assistant Ernie (John Gemberling) sings "Amazing Grace" to Jimmy, as he sits in the waiting room crying over Brandy's death.
  • Bedroom Adultery Scene: When Liz comes home, Sam trots up to her carrying a red bra that's not hers. Confused, she walks towards the bedroom, where she hears her boyfriend Peter (Ryan Hansen) with another woman. She kicks him out.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Charlie is incredibly needy. He sandwiches himself between Ruth's legs during the baby shower. Later, when Dax is hoping to get laid, Charlie keeps jumping on the couch between him and his girlfriend because he can't stand the thought of anyone other than him getting attention, causing the girlfriend to leave.
  • Bird-Poop Gag: Jimmy and Liz's kiss at the beach is interrupted by a bird pooping on Jimmy's back.
  • Crushing Handshake: When Jimmy and Liz meet Peter and his girlfriend at a dog toy store, Jimmy takes his hand, squeezes hard, and won't let go until he's apologized for cheating on Liz.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Dr. Mike tells Tara to stay where she is while he runs some tests on Gertrude. Tara says, "I will be aqui!" After he's gone, she mutters, "'Aqui'? What?"
  • Happier Home Movie: Walter sadly watches a video from 2002 of his dead wife receiving her yellow car as a gift.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: After Liz and Jimmy break up, Liz sits on the couch eating Nutella from the jar while she watches Jimmy on TV.
  • Hospital Hottie: Dr. Mike, if animal hospitals count. The waiting room is full of women eager for a glimpse of him.
  • No Animals Allowed: Dax is forced to smuggle Charlie in and out of the building in a box on wheels with airholes for his morning walks.
  • Overworked Sleep: Ruth falls asleep with a baby in her arms. Dax turns to Greg, but he's also fallen asleep in his chair.
  • Pet Dress-Up: Amelia dresses herself and the pug Mabel in blue dresses with wings attached. When Grace asks why they're dressed as fairies, Amelia says, "Not fairies. As fairy dinosaur princess."
  • Pregnancy Makes You Crazy: While pregnant, Ruth becomes incredibly high strung, prone to flying into a rage over minor inconveniences.
  • Saving the Orphanage: When New Tricks' landlord sells the building out from under them, Garrett, Tara, and Dr. Mike work together to host a fundraiser party/concert so they can afford a new place.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In-universe example. Greg is supposed to put together a playlist for Ruth's baby shower, but he doesn't pay attention and accidentally includes background music from Schindler's List, which, as Ruth says later, puts everyone in a weird headspace.
  • Tears of Joy: Grace cries when Walter agrees to let her family keep Mabel.
  • Title Drop: The weather girl Alexa (Phoebe Neidhardt) refers to the dog days of summer.
  • Tropey, Come Home: Walter and Tyler hang up missing dog posters everywhere, including in Tyler's high school, where Kurt works as a teacher.
  • Wrong Song Gag: While putting together a playlist for Ruth's baby shower, Greg accidentally includes a track from Schindler's List, and Ruth later says this put everyone in a weird headspace.