The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996) Poster

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I'm impressed by the comments here.
drkjedi1-26 January 2003
This is a lovely, funny and well done romantic comedy. I have to admit I am impressed by the folks who continue to say they felt JG was too pretty to be Abby and that it just didn't ring true to them because of that fact. Well I'm here to tell you folks that this movie is closer to the truth than you realize. One of the things that DOES make this film soo good is that Abby is truly a lovely woman but is surrounded by main stream media and what it says beauty is, namely, Noelle, played admirably by Uma Thurman. Yes Abby is a beautiful woman, but as a woman who looks nothing like all the adds on TV or magazines like JG it is easy to see why she would think she isn't. And honestly I know way too many men who would pass her by in favor of the Noelles of this world. I have a beautiful friend who is very similar to JG and she has had the same problems Abby has in this movie because of perceived images of beauty. THAT is the message this film is trying to make that Abby is beautiful and the media has put too much emphasis on stereotypes. No I don't think they should have hired an UGLIER actress that is simply ridiculous, the film was not about an ugly woman but a beautiful woman who has fallen into the trap of "THINKING" she is unattractive! Watch the movie again folks, you'll see what I mean.
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Playfully clever Cyrano adaptation
MartianOctocretr519 July 2006
A modern retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac tale, except the genders are reversed. Janeane Garafalo is a veterinarian on a radio talk show who gives on-air advice to pet owners. However, she has a poor self-image about her looks, and cocoons herself away from possible relationships, in an effort to shield herself from inevitable disappointment and hurt.

If the movie has one weakness, it's the fact that Garafalo is cast as an ugly duckling. No way, folks; this woman is beautiful. Depending on whether one prefers petite brunettes or tall blondes, you may think she's even cuter than co-star Uma Thurman.

Both Garafalo and Thurman are splendid, and play off each other well in their awkward friendship/romantic rivalry situation. Thurman's ditsy wanna-be actress is very sympathetic; Garafalo's intellectual but emotionally guarded Dr. Abby at times is heartbreaking. Ben Chaplin as Brian, the object of their affections, turns in a good performance of his own. One scene where two of these actors interact with eyes only--no dialogue for at least 30 sec.--is extremely powerful.

Funny bits pop up at strategic moments. The banter between Abby and Brian is like a one-liner ping-pong match; their spontaneous wit is fun to ride along with (almost like a Neil Simon play). Brian's dog is one of the best animals in a flick that I've seen in a while, he did comedy as well as his human counterparts.

A good movie worth spending an evening on, especially as a date flick.
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Truth Must Be Told: I like this romantic comedy that echoes "Syrano de Bergerac".
Galina23 August 2005
Janeane Garofalo stars as Abby, a veterinarian who has her own radio show. She is a cultured, educated woman, who is smart, has a good sense of humor and makes a great living. The problem is that her self-esteem is low because she does not find herself attractive being 5'1 brunette who once upon a time while in college had gained 40 pounds. Well, she looked like she lost all of them and she was charming if you ask me (perhaps, it is solidarity of another 5'0 brunette ) but when she developed a relationship over the phone with one of the callers, she tells him that she is 5'10" statuesque blonde who is hard to miss. The blonde (Uma Thurman) happened to be her next-door neighbor, the aspiring model/actress who agrees to go on the date instead of Abby... It may sound like cliché, and the film has several holes in the plot but is very enjoyable thanks to wonderful performance by Janeane and to these words:

"You know how someone's appearance can change the longer you know them? How a really attractive person, if you don't like them, can become more and more ugly; whereas someone you might not have even have noticed... that you wouldn't look at more than once, if you love them, can become the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. All you want to do is be near them."

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Charming and moving
Sean Gallagher28 October 1999
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.
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"You can love your pets -- you just can't 'love' your pets."
Doug Phillips21 April 2001
This film is an absolute gem, showcasing the incredible talents of Janeane Garofalo and highlighting the physical beauty of Uma Thurman (and Ben Chaplin). It is an incredibly well crafted and well-written film due to the efforts of director Michael Lehmann and author Audrey Wells. If there were ever any doubts as to the acting ability of Ms Garofalo this film will put them to rest. There are scenes in which she is positively luminescent as the 'voice on the radio' – Dr Abby Barnes. This film was to be a star vehicle for Uma Thurman: she has top billing both in the opening title sequence and in the closing credits. She also has the personal assistant, personal makeup and hair and even a personal acting coach! But she has worked on just 12 films since 'Cats and Dogs' was released and Ms Garofalo has completed 39! Janeane steals the show (again)! The story is derivative: Basically it is the Cyrano story; however, it is given new life and freshness by the appealing characters and plot twists. I must admit that I am a bit tired of Janeane Garofalo playing the 'ugly' girl roles. She is far from ugly and really should be playing the romantic characters more often. This really is an outstanding film – the scenes with 'Hank' steal the show and the late-night telephone conversation between Abby and Brian should not to be missed.
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My favorite
Jriddle23 September 2006
The truth about Cats and Dogs is one of my all time favorite movies. It is surly life-relating. This comedy/romance has caught my eye and as well as my heart. This movie demonstrates the great joys of friendship and love. It is very well constructed together, this movie touches me each and every time I watch. My favorite scene in the movie is where Brian has made the list that "Abby" Nowell has asked for and goes to "Donna's" Abby's apartment to read it to her. I too have low self esteem like many do when it comes to men, but Brian just loved Abby for her. The scene makes me cry every time, " you didn't say I love her because she is so beautiful, that is not why I love her, I mean yes she is beautiful." AHHHHH I just love this movie so much... I wish more people knew how wonderful it really is...
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It would never happen- but sweet
Meredith-720 November 1999
This film is really sweet, even more so if you are an animal lover. The three leads are all perfectly cast, with Janeane Garofalo doing an absolutely excellent job as the radio show vet whose self-conscious about her image. This film really does stretch credibility, but then most romantic comedies tend to due to their very nature. The dog has to be one of the cutest I have seen in a film- probably because he is a real dog rather than the little dogs that many comedies seem to favor. A very pleasant way to spend 90 minutes.
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Unpleasant truths exposed!
Brian W. Fairbanks26 March 1999
"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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The Truth About This Movie
Chrysanthepop8 February 2008
I tend to dislike most of the serious romantic movies like 'Titanic' etc. They're just not my kind to be honest. Love many of the classics like 'Sabrina'. I would have enjoyed 'The Truth About Cats & Dogs' a lot more if there was a little more comedy to it. It's an okay (and forgettable) movie with some decent performances and a few good moments but at some point it seems to drag. Perhaps a little editing would have helped. On the one hand I can understand why Jeanine Garofalo is cast as the 'ugly' girl (she looks far from ugly) but, in my humble opinion, she's not portrayed as an 'ugly' girl but rather as a woman who thinks of herself as unattractive. Yet, I thought that the Lehman really went a little too far, at times, by focusing on her 'ugliness' e.g. by showing people on the street calling ugly at her character. In contrast, Uma Thurman looks a lot less attractive than usual and she's portrayed as the 'hot' one. To an extent 'Lehman' does succeed in showing the stereotypical beauty that's created by the media (Thurman's character) and what would be considered as less attractive (Garofalo's character). Garofalo is very likable. Her on screen personality here does not differ much from her other roles but she succeeds in what she set out to do. Thurman is a little over the top at times but otherwise makes a great comparison to her female co-star. The two actresses share a very warm chemistry. Ben Chaplin is quite alright and fortunately he doesn't do the American accent. In a nutshell, it's a average film that could have been better.
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It's called irony
Moviestar-61 April 2003
I see a lot of comments on here that say how Janeane Garofalo is actually more attractive in this movie than Uma Thurman. The way I see it, this is deliberate (which should be evident by the fact that this is the only movie where Uma is not what I would call attractive, and her attractiveness in this movie is a big deal). By making the "ugly girl" beautiful, and the "hot chick" unattractive, it creates an irony which forces the audience to look at how they view women in the real world. Because in the real world, women who look like Janeane Garofalo ARE considered less attractive than tall, skinny blondes. Or maybe it's just because you're not allowed to be a movie star if you're ugly, so they couldn't find anyone else. Either way, this is one of my favorite romantic comedies, if not my all-time favorite. 10/10
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edwithmj29 July 2009
I found out about this film because Jewish Ben Chaplin from Game On was in it. Game On is a funny British sitcom and apparently he left because he wanted to break into Hollywood and star in this film. He failed thank God.

The film is a very simple romantic comedy with Janeane Garofalo playing an ugly woman who uses her neighbour Uma Thurman to date Ben Chaplin because she thinks Ben Chaplin won't like her because she's ugly. The film is just bad for so many reasons. The plot is unbelievably predictable from the overtly slapstick bits to the serious mushy bits: ugh just that montage where all three of them are having fun and then the photograph bit. Those two scenes made me cringe! Janeane's character is sickeningly arrogant (and guessing from her role as stand-up "comedienne" and arch-feminist is in real life too). She claims that the film is "anti-feminist" when in fact it's just realistic. Men more often than not go for looks over personality. It's interesting to note her hypocrisy too. She'd been a feminist and "comedienne" for years before taking this role and then suddenly decides afterwards that the film was bad. I imagine she hated the idea and script of this film before it was released but she made sure she kept that quiet so she could get paid for this travesty of a film. I mean come on! She acted in it for Heaven's sake! What this film was really was anti-men if anything. It portrays men as stupid animals whose brains are in their groins with the men doing stupid things to attract the attention of Uma Thurman's character Noelle.

There are other bad things about this film too like Ben Chaplin's character being the British man every American girl finds cute and Jamie Foxx being the token black best friend of Chaplin and of course Foxx had to try and mimic his accent a few times for good measure. Is that the best the script writers could come up with? Blimey they've never done that before except with every Hugh Grant and Dudley Moore film ever made. There's also a truly awful phone sex scene which is just grotesque and proves how cheap the film is. The other comments on here all say how Janeane Garofalo isn't ugly but is actually beautiful. Erm was I watching the same film as they were? She's certainly no looker and the only good thing about this film was that she was rightly cast as the ugly one. Although having said that, I fail to see the appeal of Uma Thurman as well: she's lanky and gaunt looking.

I guarantee three things about this film if you've never watched it:

You will know what the ending will be;

You will find the phone sex scene painfully embarrassing and;

You will be bored after ten minutes.

Watch at your own peril.
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Implausible comedy strains to be believable but has a certain charm...
Neil Doyle24 August 2007
There's a lot to like in THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND DOGS but I find the basic premise completely unbelievable. BEN CHAPLIN is a handsome man who is fooled into thinking that the radio personality he's impressed by is really her blonde neighbor (UMA THURMAN), enough so that he falls in love with Thurman until he finds out the two women have been playing a deceptive trick on him.

He broods about it for awhile before deciding that he really loves the plain Jane for her brains and whatever pearls of wisdom she expressed when they first met. It's really a stretch to think that Chaplin would settle for the unattractive gal after smooching it up with Thurman at every opportunity.

Despite the weak premise, it's played with style and wit and emerges, overall, as a pleasant escapist kind of comedy. Unfortunately, it's not convincing enough in sending the message it tries to make.

Most charming aspect of the film is the performance of BEN CHAPLIN as the bewitched and befuddled guy.
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A Disgusting Lie Of A Movie
ccthemovieman-12 September 2006
"The Truth?" No, truth takes a back seat in this "family' film."

Wow, is this movie sickening or what? It clearly demonstrates how "family films" had gone down the dumper by 1996. Here, the whole story is a lie: a plain woman lying her way to having a romance.

The most memorable line is Uma Thurman's character casually telling her plain friend (Janeane Garafolo), "Oh, I'd f--k ya!" To the reviewers who said this movie was profanity-free, umm, I think the f-word is considered "profanity."

Even family-friendly critic Michael Medved descirbed this as "good family entertainment. " Sorry, Mike, but you messed up on this one. The "truth" is that the film was an insult to anyone's intelligence.
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Not really a riff on Cyrano de Bergerac
richard-178722 August 2014
One of the previous reviewers wrote: "It's Cyrano de Bergerac on the surface but more of a sitcom in its substance," and even that's a stretch.

Cyrano is ugly, big-time ugly. So ugly that his own mother had no love for him, and no woman has been willing to love him.

The female host of the radio show that gives this movie its name, "The Truth about Cats and Dogs," Abbey, is not ugly in any way. She may not be a striking beauty, but then, neither is Uma Thurman/Noelle, the neighbor she passes off as herself to the caller who wants to meet her. One is short, the other tall. One is brunette, the other blonde. One a little on the plump side - but only a little; the other skinny. Abbey is not ugly while Noelle is strikingly beautiful. Abbey has one kind of beauty, Noelle another.

Cyrano de Bergerac is about a truly ugly man who wins the heart of Roxanne by the extraordinary beauty of his language, a non-physical type of beauty. He very definitely does not have just "another kind" of physical beauty. He very definitely has NO physical attractiveness whatsoever.

Abbey, on the other hand, has bought into a socially-conditioned idea of what men find attractive - tall, thin, blonde - but it's really all in her mind, since her friend Noelle isn't all that attractive, and Abbey herself is certainly not unattractive. We don't really get a chance to see if Brian really started by buying into the same social convention, since he was told by Abbey over the phone that she was tall, blonde, thin, etc. We never see him attracted to tall, blonde, thin dumbbells whom he knows to be dumbbells.

When Brian tries to explain what he finds attractive in the woman he has spoken to over the phone, he basically says: "She's nice." Abbey gives no indications of a remarkable, poetic command of language either on her radio show or over the phone. Noelle on occasion - but only on occasion, and not very convincingly - comes off as dumb. Brian says that he likes intelligence, but he gives no indication of being intelligent himself, nor of having been attracted to anyone else for her intelligence. So we never really understand why he becomes attracted to Abbey. She's pleasant, but then so is Noelle.

The three leads are all pleasant, but the movie doesn't really seem to know what point it wants to make. If it's "a handsome guy can fall in love with a woman even if she isn't beautiful, as long as she has a striking character," this movie doesn't make that point clearly or convincingly. Abbey just isn't sufficiently not-beautiful, or sufficiently striking in terms of her character, for us to buy that argument. Nor, unlike Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac, is Brian ever presented as really interested in qualities other than physical beauty, so that his final attraction to Abbey comes off as convincing.
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Coming in as a little more than mere kitty litter, but rather far from being top dog; Lehmann's film about male perception of women is a wavering effort.
johnnyboyz3 May 2011
The politics of The Truth About Cats & Dogs is likely to be the last place with which people will find fault with the film; the idea of two women, one of whom is identified within as more photogenic than the other, switching identities for sake of observing which it is an ignorant to the situation young man will go for, is importantly played out honestly and correctly. It is the getting there within which the problems lie, those to whom the film is pitched will have to suffer the sitting through of misplaced phone sex sequences and some needlessly colourful language, while the rest of us, for whom the adult content will just sail past, will have to sit through a message-movie that'll already have been mapped out in most of the audience's minds if the natural conclusion point to which the film arrives hasn't already been prefigured before in their lives. Ultimately, The Truth About Cats & Dogs happens for absolutely no reason at all; other than to perhaps shuffle onto screens a meek message-movie about looks, rational thinking, male presumption and so-forth which are all items that happen to have been dealt with before and in more engaging fashions. The truth about The Truth About Cats & Dogs is that it's just not up to an awful lot.

The film eventually comes to cover three predominant characters, the one with whom we start being a local disc-jockey in a warm; welcoming movie version of Los Angeles named Abby Barnes (Garofalo), a disc-jockey whose show specialises in veterinarian problems and animal issues. Seemingly lonely, living by herself in an apartment with her pet cat, and sexless for three years, she excels at her job more often than not made easier by the subdued level of callers whom ring in with the slightest of problems that she's usually capable of fixing without breaking a sweat. Abby's neighbour at her apartment complex is the ditzy, flimsy Noelle (Thurman); essentially a bit of a write-off of a human being, a model with some serious marital issues of her own in that she appears able to have most men without possessing the ability to maintain any kind of lasting bond with them. A woman, who upon hearing Abby has abstained from sexual encounters for all of three years, appears somewhat disturbed at such a happening.

Enter Brian (Chaplin), a young English photographer working in L.A. whose call to Abby's show spawns all manner of events; a man in love with Abby's demeanour and intelligence but with Noelle's looks when he comes on down to the studio; the lab rat around which the study of male perception of the opposite gender, or how a woman's looks can blind a man to some seemingly obvious truths, plays out. For the most part, Chaplin essentially does the Hugh Grant act: the dozy but charming British male, who's a bit bleary eyed, but we don't mind 'cause that's all part of his charm, as he fumbles through these exchanges with women, usually foreign, in a happy and jolly manner in a desirable enough locale. Curiously, with Brian arrives an air of misogyny; distorting sequences with an African American supporting character who's a work colleague of his carrying with them notions of ill-thinking and nastiness, so much so that we question as to whether Brian would even work with a man of an African American ilk given his rather raging narrow mindedness. The item of persona swapping which later plays out between the women appears in contrast to that of Brian's own in-presence/not-in-presence attitudes in regards to the female characters when he certainly acts in a less appealing way.

Young Brian is put through the proverbial wringer when Noelle and Abby decide to enforce that switch: idiotic and po-faced, but strikingly beautiful, Noelle now the expert veterinarian with Abby relegated to that of, well, a nobody living next door with her cat. The concept of this comedy outlined, that Chaplin loves Noelle's exterior but Abby's interior, and that everybody's pretending Noelle has both, kicks off all manner of both 'hilarious' hijinks and shenanigans, such is how the pitch would have gone in the producer's office. The film has fun with Abby's own liberation from her supposedly repressed confines linked to that of both exposure to the male gender and (lack of) sexual episodes, when she is granted access to Brian – access, of which, is only ever over the phone, in a manner often nothing more than moderately smirk-inducing but is rarely anything worse than slightly uninteresting. The lead is granted an escape from the celebrificated voice-over role as the radio vet, but is only allowed to do so under the guise of being a stunningly attractive blonde model whose face is fit for billboards; a notion supposedly highlighting that of the shallow nature of both contemporary men and, for the most, part contemporary culture.

Where, you might say, screwball comedies of old centred around degrees of gender swap or gender transfusion, The Truth About Cats & Dogs, like a young moggy with its ball of string, loosely toys with this idea via the guise of a personality switch; the piece ultimately a middling effort which falls short of the line but isn't without premeditated charm which comes about purely because it throws its politics up into the air and all of it neatly falls back down again. If we're all brutally honest, the premise begins as a joke but comes to near enough render the film itself a joke; a film which spends its time toying with its gimmick via an array of goofy scenes before seeing things out into its final third with melancholic character content and an obligatory reveal. It isn't without that indifferent charm, but it certainly isn't with an awful lot more.
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Less Than Extreme Makeover
garella11 November 2004
If it doesn't irk you when a plot hinges on inexplicable errors made by supposedly intelligent characters, then you may not be annoyed by 'The Truth About Cats and Dogs,' a romantic comedy starring Janeane Garofalo as Abby, a supposedly intelligent, supposedly insightful, and supposedly unattractive veterinarian who hosts a radio call-in show.

A shy photographer (Brian or Eric or something) calls in to the show having trouble with a large dog he's mounted on roller skates for a shoot. Oh, he's so cuuuute!!! Our heroine is in a tizzy. They make a date, but too insecure to face him herself, Abby sends her neighbor, Uma Thurman. How this plan is supposed to work to Abby's advantage, I can't say. Time after time Abby and Uma pass up opportunities to straighten out the confusion. It's a good thing too, because that gives them time to learn a valuable lesson about looks and love, which is: Nice guys don't care about looks. Uh huh.

But audiences do, saith the producers. Thus we have the famously fabulous Thurman cast against girl-next-door Garofalo, who is no slouch in the looks department. So, as Abby, she is frumped up from the start in dowdy, fat-girl clothes and flat hair. It's the oldest trick in pictures. As the credits slowly approach, Abby magically acquires better clothes, a more flattering hairstyle, and a makeup job that gives her lush lips and discernible cheekbones. I guess looks still count for something.
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Not too good
Boyo-29 August 2002
Janeane plays Abby, who is a doctor of some sort who also has a radio talk show for pet lovers. One day Brian calls her and needs help getting his dog out of the rollerskates on his paws. How the skates got on is never addressed. Abby successfully gets the skates off Hank (the dogs eventual name) over the phone and Brian is quite impressed and asks Abby out. She says she is 5'10" and blonde because she's painfully insecure about her looks.

Luckily, a 5'10" blonde lives down the hall from Abby. Her name is Noelle and she is in a bad relationship. One night when Abby confronts this bad relationship in the hall, he is rude to her so Noelle is nice enough to apologize and shows up at the radio station Abby works at, even though these women don't even know each other, much less where the other works. More improbabilities are forthcoming, as Brian shows up at the radio station at that exact moment and Noelle has to pose as Abby, or we would have less of a movie than we already do.

The three of them hang out together one night. Brian is more and more attracted to Noelle (who is now Abby) and the real Abby (who is now Donna) is disappointed, of course. But Brian and (ha, ha) 'Donna' have a lengthy phone conversation one night (the movies way of excusing the glaring difference in the characters voices is ridiculous) and really connect, which makes Brian's inevitable love for (ha, ha) 'Abby' all the more hurtful for Donna.

To the movie's credit, 'Abby' is a good friend to 'Donna' and tries to repair the rift between them constantly, but her phone calls are all ignored. The women are at least sensible enough not to fight over the guy, at least in a Jerry Springer kind of way.

Naturally it all ends well for the lovers, but the character of Noelle is not treated with tons of respect. Its almost as though she exists so that the lovers will have something to overcome, an obstacle more than an actual person. You never find out what happens to Noelle, who was nice enough to respect her friend by not sleeping with the man she knew she was in love with. I understand the movie was not about her in the first place, but she still deserves better than the movie is willing to give her.

I don't like movies where a silly, immature misunderstanding is the only thing holding the plot (such as it is) together. Its nice to see Janeane play a character, but she's treated like an ogre, and that's not just when its in comparison to Uma Thurman. Ben Chaplin is charming, but not overwhelmingly so.

Okay to see once, will not hold up to multiple viewings. 5/10.
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koneko27 December 2001
Good. If not just for Janeane Garofalo's performance in the film. Drags on in most parts, and it's a little sappy and contrived. A little too "things do end up right in the end" for me. Would have preferred it if the ending was a little more realistic. Still, it's a comedy... Enjoyable nonetheless.
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An okay movie but nothing brilliant
david-sarkies25 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
As far as Hollywood romantic comedies go, there is little to differentiate them from one another. The girl and the guy get together in the end after forgiving each other for the deceit that they have pulled (or they simply get together after spending an hour and a half of film time chasing or being chased by the other). You might be gasping in shock and saying "you gave away the end," but think about it, how else does a Hollywood romance end. The only Hollywood movie that I can think of at the moment where the main characters do not get together at the end is Edward Scissorhands (and no, Romeo and Juliet does not count, because that is not a romantic comedy, but then again, neither is Edward Scissorhands).

Abby is a vet who hosts a radio show called the Truth about Cats and Dogs where she helps people who have problems with their pets. Noah (Uma Thurman) is a model whose boyfriend is also her agent and lives down the hall from Abbey. Abbey is short with brown hair and Noah is a six foot tall blonde. Abbey is intelligent, Noah is not. One day Abbey helps a young English photographer tame a dog over the phone and the photographer wants to thank her, but Abbey, who is very conscious about her appearance, describes herself as Noah. Thus a deceit begins where this man's perfect woman is in fact two.

Overall this movie was entertaining. The phone sex scene, in my opinion, was disgusting and I will not justify it. Even my friend, who has a rather warped sense of humour, thought it was disgusting. I guess the whole concept of love is when two people are together, and not separated by a telephone. I hate telephones as there is a huge gap between us and one that a true personal relationship cannot cross.

The movie was funny, and thus it seems that the Americans are getting a better sense of humour, but in general, it was typically Hollywood. Still, when one thinks about it, a romantic comedy should have a happy ending. All of Shakespeare's comedies had happy endings where as the tragedies, like Edward Scissorhands, did not. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't label it as brilliant.
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This movie is a must see.
triple831 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Cats and Dogs has a central theme of how women are judged on their looks and this movie is made much better then a movie like say Shallow Hal although the issue there was more oriented toward weight. Still, there is a similarity. I found this movie to be very enjoyable, very well made and very thought provoking while still humorous. I also thought the acting by all involved was very well done.

I found a comment on here by another IMDb user who mentioned they thought garofolo's character being cast as the "ugly" one while actually being so much prettier then Thurman's was intentional. I had never thought of that but if that was the case it was certainly interesting. I also think whether it was intentional or unintentional it certainly makes a statement about just what the standards are in society and what happens to women who don't think they fit these standards. As mentioned before this was a very thought provoking movie.

This movie in a way is very true to life in a number of ways. I have known beautiful women who were so hooked into a certain stereotype of what they thought they were supposed to be, that they honestly had no idea how beautiful they were(like Garafaoelo's character). I have seen many women like Thurman's Noelle, beautiful, but judged so exclusively on their looks, because they do fit the stereotype, they never stop getting attention and become dependent on it. Then of coarse there are the very very skinny women who are still convinced they are seriously in need of weight loss when they aren't. The characters in Cats and Dogs were really believable and the story unfortunately only to real.

I think all young girls(and maybe all females in general) need to see this movie, it maybe billed as a comedy but it's really introspective and very well done. Although it IS a comedy to some extent the movie also carries a quiet but important message that most, if not all females could relate to.

That a woman like Garofolo could be considered unattractive or could consider herself that way is truly sad. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and the movie makes that point very eloquently.

It also does have some very comedic moments. I think Uma Thurman was hilarious, I've mostly seen her in dramas and have to say she does comedy VERY well, I'd love to see her in more comedic oriented roles, she's just a great actress!

And this is an excellent movie-see it if you haven't.
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embarrassingly bad
roykogan28 August 2007
Yes, I winced. I kept waiting for the guy to let on that he knew what was going on; that would have been slightly more believable, and may have elevated this to the status of "charming" romantic comedy that so many have found it. As stands, there is not an ounce of truth, or intelligence, about this film. Oh, cut it with the sledgehammer of a "message", that doesn't even work here. The Garofolo character is supposed to impress as a woman of substance, but really, she is so undeveloped as a person such that the substance falls by the wayside. This ain't about her shape or size or face. If these people were in their teen years it may have been more convincing. If Garofolo's character had showed more vulnerability, real vulnerability in a mature skin, it may have won me over. The only character that kept me watching here was Ben Chaplin's--now there is a person of substance, with enormous charisma and a beautiful presence. There's the fantasy dream in this movie. The Garolo character is pathetic, but not for the reasons purported here...
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A typical example of Hollywood's hypocrisy
vispateresa17 December 2000
The message of this movie is "personality is more important than beauty". Jeanine Garofalo is supposed to be the "ugly duckling", but the funny thing is that she's not at all ugly (actually she's a lot more attractive than Uma Thurman, the friend who looks like a model).

Now, would this movie work if the "ugly duckling" was really unattractive? When will Hollywood stop with this hypocrisy?

In my opinion, despite the message that it wants to convey, this movie is simply ridiculous.
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I have to tell you something...
Paul Magne Haakonsen19 November 2016
When I read the synopsis for "The Truth About Cats & Dogs" I was hoping that it would not be another one of those overly sappy and corny romantic comedy that the movie industry tends to spew out by the dozens. And I was hoping it would be more than such, especially because it had Janeane Garofalo on the cast list.

I sat down to watch it in 2016, 20 years after it was released. And this was actually the first time that I have seen it, believe it or not.

And it turned out that "The Truth About Cats & Dogs" was a rather enjoyable movie, and one that did offer a bit more than your average run-of-the-mill romantic comedies.

The story is about low self-esteemed radio show host Abby who gives a caller named Brian some good advice on how to befriend a dog. And when Brian wants to repay her for her helpful advice, Abby turns to Noelle, a tall model living in her building, to stand in for her and pretend to be her.

Of course, there are elements of classic romantic comedy to "The Truth About Cats & Dogs", but it does have more than just that. I liked the aspect of the switched roles and pretending to be someone you are not, as it offered a different approach to the story.

And the cast in "The Truth About Cats & Dogs" was just phenomenal. Uma Thurman and Ben Chaplin were doing great jobs and were nicely cast. However, it was Jeneane Garofalo who stole the scene, without a doubt. With her amazing on-screen charisma and presence, she just carried the movie so well on her shoulders. She was an absolute delight to witness in this movie.

I was more than genuinely entertained by "The Truth About Cats & Dogs" and it turned out to be a much better movie than I had hoped. So if you haven't already seen his movie, and if you enjoy romantic comedies, then I can more than warmly recommend that you take the time to sit down and watch "The Truth About Cats & Dogs".

"The Truth About Cats & Dogs" scores a solid six out of ten stars rating from me.
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Didn't appeal to me...
Irishreviewer21 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I found this movie quite awful, I find it spends most of the time, concentrating on Janeane Garofalo's character then equally letting on Uma Thurman's character as well. I thought it wasn't fair to leave her out since she is part of the movie too!

I just find the whole storyline didn't give on its actors, I would've rather if they involved every lead role in together, not at the same time, but together. I think it's fair to give this one nomination because if this got any big award like an Oscar or Golden Globe, this would be absolutely wrong in the world of Film. Well they have brains this time, I'll give em credit for that one!

I would avoid this at all costs, keep away from this, folks!
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