A canine angel, Charlie, sneaks back to earth from heaven but ends up befriending an orphan girl who can speak to animals. In the process, Charlie learns that friendship is the most heavenly gift of all.
Charlie B. Barkin (Burt Reynolds), a rascally German Shepherd with a shady past, breaks out of the New Orleans Dog Pound with the help of his faithful friend Itchy (Dom De Luise), a nervously hyperactive dachshund. He then makes tracks to reunite with his gambling casino partner Carface Malone (Vic Tayback), a shifty pitbull who has planned a dastardly, and potentially deadly, double cross. Suddenly, Charlie finds himself at the Pearly Gates, face to face with the Heavenly Whippet (Melba Moore). Charlie weasels his way back to earth and reunites with Itchy. He plots his revenge against Carface and, along the way, acquires help from a little girl named Anne-Marie (who can talk to animals). After a series of fiendish schemes, close scrapes and unexpected adventures, both Charlie and Anne Marie find their lives at stake. Only one can be saved and the outcome is in Charlie's paws...
I've seen this movie when I was young, and I remembered it as one of the first films I have truly liked that was not an action movie or a comedy. So, in my later years I decided to watch it again and see if it was just nostalgia or was there really something in that movie. To my surprise, the movie held to my every expectations. It's a great movie. Emotional in the right amount, some jokes, nice songs (not great though, and that actually explains why I did not remember it was a musical) and all in all a great use to my time. I was surprised because the last movies from my childhood that I have revisited did not even pass my minimal demands of a decent movie and yet this movie, which I first saw in the second grade, made me cry today just like it made me cry then. Maybe that's because my dog died recently and maybe not, but the important thing is that it made me feel, and that's why filmmakers make films (that and the money, of course). Yes, there are continuity glitches. Yes, the script has holes, but it doesn't matter. The movie itself is fun and smart. So don't be fooled by cynical people who always look for the bad things in life, because nothing is perfect, and this movie gets a 10 not because it is perfect. It gets 10 simply because it made me feel.
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