Dog Days Parent Guide
This puppy picture is the vanilla ice cream of summer movies.
Parent Movie Review
Summer movies, like ice cream cones, come in lots of different flavors. Some are tiger – a bit wild with swirls of orange and licorice. Some are adventurous rocky road with a surprise in every bite. Still others are vanilla. There’s nothing wrong with vanilla ice cream. It’s cold, creamy and delicious, and you know exactly what you are going to get. Dog Days is a vanilla ice cream summer movie. However, it is told with such earnest sweetness that it’s vanilla in a waffle cone with sprinkles and a cherry on top.
Dog Days is an ensemble movie that tells five different (sometimes inter-related) stories about how pets bring people together in romantic relationships and friendship, through community involvement. As one character says, “Dogs open their hearts to us – to love and be loved. And I find that beautiful.” Its biggest weakness is that once the characters are introduced and their situations explained, it is obvious how the plot lines are going to turn out.
Despite its predictability, there is a lot to like or even love about this pooch picture. It is an unashamedly feel-good-happy-ending kind of movie. There are a handful of sad moments (including the death of a dog), but these are quickly swamped by the blossoming relationships between the open-hearted, kind, helpful people that populate the film.
For most viewers, the real stars of Dog Days will be the canine characters. They are all appealing, but Gertrude the chihuahua has an extra dollop of charm. I am not an animal person, yet even my hard, withered little heart melted at the sight of Gertrude in her therapeutic helmet with a tiara on top. Also irresistible are Mabel the soulful pug and Charlie the giant drooling furball.
Parents will be relieved to know that there are few things to worry about in this film. There are only a handful of mild profanities and terms of deity. Alcohol is consumed in two scenes – one in a bar and one at a baby shower where the father-to-be is slamming back wine to handle the stress. The biggest red flag involves a marijuana brownie which is eaten by Charlie, resulting in a trip to the vet and comic scenes of a very stoned dog. The word “marijuana” is never mentioned – the vet speaks in code about “glaucoma medicine” so children should be completely oblivious to what is actually going on here. Adults and teens, on the other hand, will catch on very quickly.
If your family is looking for a sweet summer treat, Dog Days might fit the bill. Be warned: if you have a child who has been begging for a new puppy, going to this movie could be a risky proposition. Two hours of relentless doggy charm could weaken the resolve of even the most determined parent.Directed by Ken Marino. Starring Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Finn Wolfhard, Eva Longoria. Running time: 113 minutes. Theatrical release August 8, 2018. Updated December 27, 2018
Rating & Content Info
Why is Dog Days rated PG? Dog Days is rated PG by the MPAA for rude and suggestive content, and for language.
Violence: While shaking hands, one character exerts painful pressure on the other to force him down on his knees to apologize. A woman sprays mace at a man because of a misunderstanding.
Sexual Content: There are multiple scenes of kissing between couples. No other activity is implied. A woman discovers her boyfriend is unfaithful when she sees her dog chewing on another woman’s bra. A dog sexually rubs itself on a character’s leg. A female character grabs a male character and kisses him without warning.
Profanity: There are a handful of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A minor character chugs wine in a stressful situation. A major character drinks beer in a restaurant. A dog gets high on a marijuana brownie.
Page last updated December 27, 2018
Dog Days Parents' Guide
Several characters find happiness by getting involved with a rescue dog organization. Why do you think volunteering is so beneficial for people? Have you ever volunteered in your community? How did it affect you and those you helped?
Charlie gets high on a marijuana brownie. Is marijuana legal where you live? Do you think it should be? What are the pros and cons of legalizing weed? What are the health risks for people? Pros and cons of legalizing marijuana: Dangers of driving while using marijuana: Risks involved with marijuana brownies and other edibles: Medical benefits of marijuana: