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The Best & Worst of Hallmark's "The Dog Lover's Guide to Dating"

The Dog Lover's Guide to Dating Plot Summary

Simon believes Chloe is the girl of his dreams but can't seem to win over her beloved pup. He enlists dog trainer, Alex, and soon finds himself wondering where his real connection might be. 

Starring: Rebecca Dalton and Corey Sevier

The Dog Lover's Guide to Dating-Hallmark
Image:  Hallmark Media

The Movie Is Based on a Book

When the opening credits are rolling, it's easy to overlook them when you're quickly getting absorbed into the movie.

You may have missed that this fun, new movie is based on a book by Deborah Wood--an actual dog trainer!

If you're a bookworm, you can find the book here:

Studies show that you are three times more likely to meet someone if you have a dog with you!

The Best Aspects of the Movie

The movie is warm and humorous.  Corey Sevier plays Simon, and he's vying for a beautiful, successful designer named Chloe.  The problem is that he can't get past her pooch--also named Simon.  He tries to dog sit in the park each day while Chloe grabs her favorite coffee, and he ends up chasing the dog as it tears through and ruins a lot of picnics.

When Simon meets Alex, a dog trainer who spends every waking minute working, helping others, and volunteering at the dog shelter, he thinks he's found a solution to his problem.  If he can win over Chloe's dog, he can have a chance with her, too.

Reluctantly, Alex agrees to help Simon with his doggie issues but reminds him she's not an expert when it comes to dating.

The movie deals with real issues, which gives it more substance.  Alex and her sister were abandoned by their father when they were small children, and they have "daddy issues" because of it.  Alex won't let anyone close to her because she's afraid they will leave whenever they feel like it.  Real life is like this--people have struggles, and this movie is a nice reminder that we have to face our fears and not let them control us.  As Alex's sister points out, neither of them should allow their father's mistake to decide their futures.

The nuances I love the most in this movie are the scenes where a dog training concept is taught, but it actually applies to either Simon or Alex, too.  For example, the dog-owner dynamic is a partnership built on trust, which also serves as a double entendre for their budding relationship. This is nicely done throughout the movie.  

The Dog Lover's Guide to Dating
Image:  Hallmark Media

The chemistry and final kiss are great!  Hallmark has suffered some epic fails on romantic pairings in their movies of late, but they got it right this time. 

The Humanization of Dogs Is the Worst Part of the Movie

Pets are wonderful.  Most people who accept the responsibility of pet ownership make their furry friends part of the family and take good care of them--as they should.

Our society, however, has crossed a line, and this movie is a reflection of it.

Dogs are animals.  They are not human, yet many people treat pets better than they do their fellow man.  

It's utterly insane that Alex cooks an enormous breakfast for her dog, Radar, yet subsists on power bars herself.  Crazier yet is how Chloe refers to her dog, Simon, as her "gatekeeper."  Dog's might have a sixth sense about others, but people need to use their own brains when it comes to relationships--an animal should not be the decision maker.

The idea of saving the dog shelter through an elite fundraiser makes for a good movie, but in reality, it's a gross waste of resources.  People are starving around the globe, and there are countless kids waiting to be adopted--wouldn't you think human life would be of higher value?

Check out this eye-opening article that explains what the overzealous humanization of pets means for our culture.

Finally, why did the casting director choose a large woman (Alex's sister) to be a yoga instructor?  This is where Hallmark's insistence on inclusion makes no sense.  Hallmark wants plus size viewers to see movie characters they can relate to, understandably, but a yoga instructor?  The only message an overweight yoga instructor sends is that yoga isn't an effective method to get in shape.  What yoga pose is she teaching her students?  The beached whale?

My Rating

A solid, well-written script combined with strong leading co-stars makes The Dog Lover's Guide to Dating a definite "win" for Hallmark.

I give it 3 out of 5 hearts.

#TheDogLoversGuideToDating #CoreySevier #RebeccaDalton


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