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
Janeane Garofalo has been quite vocal about how unhappy she was with the film. Initially it was an independent film, but it was turned into a big-studio project when Uma Thurman signed on. Garofalo remarked,"I think it's soft and corny. The soundtrack makes you want to puke. And everybody's dressed in Banana Republic clothing. The original script and intent was very different. It was supposed to be a small-budget independent film, with a lot more complexity to the characters. When it became a studio commercial film, Abby and the guy wind up together at the end." Garofalo has since disowned the film, calling it anti-feminist. See more »
When Brian is taking photographs of Abby, he switches from a tripod-mounted camera to a hand-held camera. When he does this, he doesn't change the flash to the new camera (The flash hot shoe is shown to have nothing connected.), yet the flash still fires.
The flashes in question are studio flash heads powered from a remote pack. They are fired via a PC sync cord which can be clearly seen attached to the PC sync socket on the left hand side of each body. See more »
[contemplating how to reveal Abby's true identity to Brian]
Is your show on today?
Dr. Abby Barnes:
I'll go to his house and I'll turn on the radio.
Dr. Abby Barnes:
Have you ever noticed how Superman and Clark Kent are never in the same room at the same time?
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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 »
"You can love your pets -- you just can't 'love' your pets."
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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