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The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 26 April 1996 (USA)
2:01 | Trailer

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A successful veternarian & radio show host with low self-esteem asks her model friend to impersonate her when a handsome man wants to see her.



1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
La Tanya M. Fisher ...
Faryn Einhorn ...
Dechen Thurman ...


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 Joelsef <joelsef@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Brian's about to discover the woman he loves isn't the woman he loves.


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for a sex-related scene and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adevarul despre câini si pisici  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£302,403 (UK) (19 July 1996)


$34,073,143 (USA) (9 August 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Janeane Garofalo later became a co-host on Air America Radio's "The Majority Report" alongside Sam Seder. See more »


When Roy leaves Noelle's apartment after the slanging match in the Hall with Abby, Abby's hair changes side during Noelle's apology. See more »


Brian: Who are you? What is this? Is this some kind of weird game you two play for kicks, you take some guy and see how much you can screw him up!
Abby: No, it was a mistake.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening scene, when Janeane Garofalo is about to get on the elevator, as the credits come to an end, Micheal Lehmann's credit is crushed by the elevator doors. See more »


Referenced in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Better Off Dead (2009) See more »


The Bed's Too Big Without You
Written by Sting
Performed by Sting and Roger Charlery (as Ranking Roger)
Produced by Hugh Padgham and Sting
Courtesy of Epic Records and A&M Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Charming and moving
28 October 1999 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

Without a doubt, my favorite play ever written is CYRANO DE BERGERAC, by Edmund Rostand. People can tell me it's sentimental and mawkish, but I don't care; I absolutely love it. I've seen, I think, most, if not every, movie which has been inspired by it, from the 1950 version by Jose Ferrer(the movie is stagy and changes the play, but he's wonderful), to ROXANNE in 1987, Steve Martin's wonderful re-working of the play as romantic comedy, and best of all, the 1990 version starring Gerard Depardieu(how appropriate France's greatest actor should appear in it giving his best performance). Now comes this movie, which is inspired by it(as I understand it, writer Audrey Wells is a big fan as well) rather than being an outright remake of it, but it's still quite good.

Admittedly, it all hangs on a rather thin premise; that Brian(Ben Chaplin) is unable to tell the voices of Abby(Janeane Garofalo) and Noelle(Uma Thurman) apart. But romantic comedies have had more outrageous concepts before, and no one complained about how realistic they were(like RUNAWAY BRIDE; does anyone believe that one?). And by switching genders, it's able to talk about how women are forced to conform to an impossible ideal of beauty. And yet, at the same time, the message comes through comedy, so you're not being hit over the head.

Also, the performers are quite engaging. It goes without saying Janeane Garofalo is terrific in her first lead role. She's funny, as could be expected, but as she's had to fight the impossible ideal of beauty much of her career, you can sense something personal for her, and she brings that out without getting mawkish. Uma Thurman sends up the "dumb blonde" role without condescending to her. Plus, we like Noelle for the same reason we like Christian in the original; she's actually smarter about love than Abby is(when she says of Brian, "Plus, he's got this one, tiny little fault. He loves you."). Chaplin of course has the object of desire role, which is tough to play, but he brings humor and intelligence to it. And, of course, the dog is great.

29 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Masturbation Scene--Tacky!!! lizzy_kermit_the_frog
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