Film Review: Gone Doggy Gone

Silly comedy-adventure about a kidnapped Teacup Yorkie has the dog going for it, if not any believable characters going after it. Strictly for very easy-to-please millennials who are insane for this cutesy breed.
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The over-the-top L.A. indie misfire Gone Doggy Gone pays homage to the adorable Teacup Yorkie breed and, like the dog, looks pretty good. Other factors in this writing and directing debut from Kasi Brown and Brandon Walter, who also star, are a different matter entirely. Indeed, the tail doesn’t even wag this dog. It’s a vanity production in which only the dog should be vain.

The film means to answer the question: How far would you go to get your baby back? Those daring for an answer here will encounter a story that more or less unfolds as follows: Abby (Brown), a twenty-something who does something unspecified in fashion, is crazy about her cute, overdressed and pampered Teacup Yorkie Laila, but at the expense of more attention due husband Eliott (Walter), a good sport nonetheless.

When the L.A. couple, due to Eliott’s promotion, is scheduled to relocate to San Francisco, they enlist their dog-sitter Jill (Shaina Vorspan) to care for Laila so they can do some scouting north. But Jill is an extreme loser: She loses her dumb temp job, her dumb fast-food drone of a boyfriend, the support of her mother, and only has eyes for Laila (until her idea of a real and willing man comes along).

Checking in with Jill, Abby realizes that the sitter has disappeared with the dog and a desperate chase is on, hardly aided by the participation of Abby’s neurotic, pothead pal Kat (Kate Connor). Also not helping is the couple’s enlistment of slobby private detective Dan (Jeff Sloniker), whom they discover in a late-night commercial in their motel room. Dan works with his sleazy, hooker-loving father Stan (Richard Riehle), with whom he co-stars in the tacky “Call 800” etc. ad. But the only evidence this ridiculously bumbling gumshoe can provide is that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree.

Dan does eventually catch up with Jill and, appropriately, love blossoms. The story devolves further into a road movie in which stuff happens, including Abby, Eliott and Kat encountering a hippie cluster and Jill dropping in on her loudmouthed real estate broker mother Ruth (Marsha Waterbury), who, understandably estranged, is clearly aware that what she has begotten is best forgotten. To ease minds (and certainly no spoiler to anyone who’s ever been to the movies), Laila survives nicely and a stork with a bundle is nearby.

The film does look good, suggesting behind-the-camera talent knows its stuff. Acting talent demonstrates commitment to a very challenging profession, and the filmmakers clearly understand the value of a photogenic pooch and how a smashing wardrobe enhances star power for any two or four-legged creature.

Click here for cast and crew information.