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YMMV / Beethoven

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  • Angst? What Angst?: After being saved from rape in Beethoven's 2nd, Ryce is perfectly cheerful with apparently no emotional trauma. All's well that ends well!
  • Awesome Music: In the original film - "Opening," "Discovering the Neighborhood" and "Ryce's Theme," also the usage of "Roll Over, Beethoven"
  • Bizarro Episode: Despite the rather improbable things that Beethoven does throughout the series (particularly in the third film), the films remained a pretty realistic feel throughout. Not so much with Beethoven's Christmas Adventure, which features one of Santa's elves as a central character, a magic bag which can produce an infinite number of toys, and Beethoven talking to people after they eat magic candy which allows them to understand dogs.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Ted rams the family car into Dr. Varnick's office, saving both his Dad and Beethoven while also launching an entire tray of syringes right into the mad doctor's chest. Ted's response?
    Ted: Cool!
    • Alice watching Beethoven drag Brad and Brie down the street when he crashes their meeting, and while George attempts to stop him, Alice simply smiles and bids them farewell.
  • Fridge Brilliance: George initially believing Beethoven bit the vet makes sense when you consider Beethoven is a large, male, un-neutered and ill-behaved dog.
  • Fridge Logic:
    • The sequels establish that George had never bothered to get Beethoven fixed in the first movie, despite the dog's out-of-control behavior costing him tens of thousands of dollars.
      • Truth in Television for a shocking number of owners. No matter how much it may benefit them, and how much they may not get along with the animal, some folks just can't stand to have said animal fixed. In the case of men, it's often a cross-species case of sharing the male pain.
    • After the attempted rape scene in Beethoven's 2nd, how did Ryce get down from the bedroom of the wrecked house? The room was still locked and Taylor, now in the lake, still had the keys. Did she climb down the front of the house somehow?
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: Ryce is nearly date raped early on in the movie by her boyfriend. Later on, Ryce goes on to date a character played by Danny Masterson. In 2017, Masterson was accused of rape by four women.
  • Idiot Plot: For the first film, Beethoven has no major behavioral or temperamental issues. Even the barest modicum of obedience training or basic boundaries would have solved most of George's problems with the dog.
    • George never thinks to ask why Dr. Varnick is back at work mere hours after being severely "bitten" by a large dog. Even the most dedicated veterinarian would be forced to take a leave of their work if they only had one properly functioning hand.
  • Misaimed Fandom: One professional critic found George to be Unintentionally Sympathetic and his family and Beethoven to be Unintentionally Unsympathetic. According to him, George works his hands to the bone trying to provide a good life for his family, who thank him by foisting a dog on him that he doesn't want, making him do all the gross parts of taking care of it, and then ostracize him when he gets rid of it. In his opinion, the family isn't just ungrateful and unappreciative but downright nasty towards George. The critic did at least admit that he wasn't a big fan of dogs in the first place though.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • If stealing dogs for sick experiments wasn't enough for him, Dr. Varnick crossed it when he was about to shoot Beethoven as part of his ammunition experiment.
      • He then got worse when he tried to shoot George, who dove in to save his dog.
  • Retroactive Recognition: In the first movie, look out for a pre-Everybody Loves Raymond Patricia Heaton and a pre-The X-Files David Duchovny as a pair of con artists who try con George out of his air freshener business. Also, there's Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
    • In addition, in the second movie, a pre-That '70s Show Danny Masterson appears as Ryce's boyfriend. Ironically, Danny's younger brother, Christopher Masterson, later of Malcolm in the Middle fame, actually originally had a minor role in the film, but his scenes were deleted as the producers felt he looked too similar to Danny. (No one on set knew that they were brothers.)
    • Stefanie Scott from Disney's A.N.T. Farm was the girl that the main star's son had a crush on in Big Break. She was nice unlike a few of her other roles.
    • Also in the first movie, the bad guy's mooks are Oliver Platt and the oscar-nominated Stanley Tucci.
  • Sequelitis: The first film was a modest hit when it came out, but wasn't anything particularly special. However, the success of the film apparently was enough to give Hollywood an excuse to turn it into a franchise, resulting in a film series that became more and more out of touch with the original with every installment. While Beethoven's 2nd stayed true to the original formula with its then-familiar cast and Beethoven still at his usual canine antics, Beethoven's 3rd saw Beethoven transferred to a new family headed by father Judge Reinhold replacing Charles Grodin and with Ivan Reitman stepping down as executive producer, with increasingly uninspired villains and stories appearing in each installment. By the time of Beethoven's sixth film appearance, the series was rebooted and retooled and then the seventh installment, Beethoven's Christmas Adventure had Beethoven talking, finally doing away with what little resemblance the sequels still bore to the original. There was also a short-lived animated series. This hound knows no bounds.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • From the first movie, one can clearly make out a sled attached to the Newtons' deck table as Beethoven drags it and the two scheming venture capitalists down the sidewalk.
    • Also from the first movie, during the montage when George comes home to find Beethoven all wet and caked in mud, the "rain" outside on the porch is very clearly coming from an overhead sprinkler.
  • Squick: From the second movie, Ryce (albeit reluctantly) actually touching the puppies' excrement to see if they are nearby after Regina and Floyd have snatched them away.
    Ryce: Eww. It's warm.
    George: Okay, good! They're close. Uh, better wash your hands.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Quite a few consider Beethoven's Big Break to be a major improvement over 3rd-5th, for actually trying to do something original with the series rather than just rehashing the first two films.
  • Unacceptable Targets: The American Veterinary Association wrote a letter to the head of the MPAA (Jack Valenti) about the main villain of the first film being a veterinarian.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The first film hinges on an amoral veterinarian intending to use Beethoven for an ammunition test, and does not make light of all the abuse the animals in his care are enduring on his watch.
    • Even more so in the second movie, where Ryce is very nearly raped by her own drunken boyfriend who has locked her up in a bedroom against her will. This scene was criticized by several reviewers, including Roger Ebert, for being out of place in a family comedy about a dog.


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