Pups Alone Parent Guide
Nothing can save this dog of a film.
Parent Movie Review
After the death of his wife, inventor Robert (Tyler Hollinger) has put all his focus into perfecting a dog translator collar. Starting a new job at Pet Tech, Robert and his daughter, Jenna (Isadora Swann), are treated to a company Christmas retreat at a ski resort. With the humans away, their dog, Charlie (voiced by Jerry O’Connell) must protect both the house and Robert’s invention from a pair of bumbling burglars.
In 107 minutes, Pups Alone managed to cause unspeakable damage to my psyche. I experienced four of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, some simultaneously, but never quite managed to reach acceptance. The creators of this atrocity will be hearing from my lawyer as I demand compensation for emotional distress. Every single frame of this movie filled me with a combination of unbridled rage and unending hopelessness for humanity. For a second perspective, my 5-year-old spent the whole run time jumping on the couch, leaving the room to find toys to play with, and just generally being uninterested. For a film to not even be able to hold his attention is a feat unto itself.
Let’s get specific about my hate for this dumpster fire. Firstly: the writing is atrocious. The story is both unbelievably stupid and incomprehensibly convoluted at the same time. You know the first rule of screen writing is “show don’t tell”? Well, this script embraces the philosophy of “tell don’t show”. The audience is subjected to what feels like hours of exposition via voice over, which mostly just adds to the overall confusion of the approximately 2,764 plot points that tangle up on screen. Every human character is unbelievably stupid and has no discernable personality or traits aside from “the cute one” and “the clumsy one”. I’m starting to wonder if the script was written by AI after being exposed to third grade writing projects. On top of the juvenile script, viewers are subjected to bad acting, cheap production values, and editorial inconsistencies. It takes an entire hour and a quarter just to get to the Home Alone style shenanigans. If you’re going to rip off a better film, at least get to the plagiarism quickly.
On top of all that, the film has a relatively high amount of negative content. Aside from the requisite slapstick violence, which is to be expected, there’s also a fair amount of swearing and substance use. If you can believe it, those aren’t even the most problematic elements! Rob Schneider, who is not Mexican, puts on a fake Mexican accent to voice a chihuahua. The only Black person in the entire production, who is only in one scene and doesn’t have a name, is a mystically wise man whose only purpose is to impart his enlightened wisdom to Robert. Keith David is a national treasure, and he deserves better than this!
Don’t watch this movie. Don’t allow your children to watch this movie. Please. I suffer so you don’t have to. Don’t let my descent into madness be in vain.Directed by Alex Merkin. Starring Jerry O'Connell, Jennfier Love Hewitt, Rob Schneider. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release November 19, 2021. Updated February 24, 2022
Watch the trailer for Pups Alone
Rating & Content Info
Why is Pups Alone rated PG? Pups Alone is rated PG by the MPAA
Violence: Slapstick style violence. Men get hit in various body parts, but especially their groins by bowling balls, tennis balls, boxing gloves, taco sauce, plates, and metal tools. Men are electrocuted by a taser. A man uses a cherry bomb. A man threatens both dogs and humans with a tranquilizer gun. A man punches another man so hard he passes out. Detectives hold and threaten criminals with guns.
Sexual Content: Two adults kiss.
Profanity: There are lots of insults, including “idiot”, “numbnuts”, and “bozos”. The script also features three uses of terms of deity and two mild expletives. A man exclaims “my balls!”
Alcohol / Drug Use: A man smokes a cigar. A man says, “let’s get drunk”. Adults are seen drinking what could be wine or other alcoholic drinks socially.
Page last updated February 24, 2022
Pups Alone Parents' Guide
What does Robert learn about how he spends his time and energy? How does Jenna feel about his obsession with his invention?
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