Janeane Garofalo plays Dr. Abby Barnes, the "Truth About Cats and Dogs" radio question-and-answer show host who unwittingly entices a listener over the radio with her soothing voice and personality. This listener, Brian, tries to meet the Abby from the radio, but Noelle, played by Uma Thurman, is mistaken for the real thing when Brian comes to the studio. Instead of clearing things up right away, the self-conscious Abby allows her best friend, Noelle, a tall, stunning blonde, to take her place for a while. Abby takes on the made-up persona of Donna, while thinking Brian would never go for her, a short, cute, brunette, who thinks she's unattractive. As the real Abby woos Brian over the phone and radio, Noelle, the pseudo-Abby, takes her place in the flesh. As time goes on, Abby feels more and more confident that Brian would rather have the beautiful Noelle than the simply attractive Abby. Written by
"The Truth About Cats and Dogs" may be a charming and (rare these days) profanity free comedy, but it reveals some unpleasant truths about Hollywood and maybe American society as a whole. Janeane Garofolo plays a veterinarian who dispenses advice about pets on a radio talk show. One male caller is so taken with her voice and personality that he asks her for a physical description and a meeting. Insecure about her looks, the petite brunette describes herself as a tall blonde, and when her admirer appears at the radio station, he is introduced to Uma Thurman, a tall blonde, who agrees to trade places with Garofolo. The message of this film is that the beauty within is more important than physical attractiveness, but the other unintended message is that physical beauty is not in the eye of the beholder but determined by how closely one resembles the seemingly bulimic fashion models plastered on magazine covers. Uma Thurman is a perfect match which is the same as saying she is, in Hollywood's eyes, perfect. I couldn't disagree more. Thurman is a bag of bones and, to my eyes, not at all attractive. Garofolo, who at one point in the film is called "ugly," is, in fact, the woman with the most appeal, physically and in terms of personality. She makes this movie worth remembering.
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