Beverly Hills Chihuahua (U)



Family (2008)
91mins US

Starring: Drew Barrymore, Andy Garcia, George Lopez, Piper Perabo
Director: Raja Gosnell
Writer(s): Analisa LaBianco, Jeff Bushell
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Chloe the Chihuahua is the beloved, four-legged companion of cosmetics doyenne Vivian Ashe, who lavishes all of her love and her considerable bank balance on the pampered pooch. When Vivian is called away to Europe on business and the usual dog sitter is indisposed, the doting owner entrusts her most prized possession to selfish niece Rachel, who only wants to party with her friends. To that end, Rachel heads for Mexico on a weekend break with two gal pals and takes Chloe along for the ride. Unfortunately, the snooty Chihuahua is stolen by villanous dog-napper Vasquez. Luckily, a plucky German Shepherd called Delgado steps in to save Chloe and the unlikely partners in crime go on the run for their lives.

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LondonNet Film Review
Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Every dog has its day and for the diamond-clad pooch at the centre of this perky comedy, every day is filled with Italian leather booties and the finest distilled drinking water...

BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA. (l to r) PIPER PERABO, CHLOE, JAMIE LEE CURTIS. Daniel Daza.  Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.But what happens when a ridiculously pampered canine, who won't leave the house without her bling, is stranded far from home at the mercy of the elements? Beverly Hills Chihuahua collars some decent laughs as it spins a predictable dog out of water yarn, augmented with slick visual effects, which allow the lovable, four-legged protagonists to talk to each other. Human cast are largely redundant as the antics of more than 200 canine performers take centre stage, ably marshalled by director Raja Gosnell whose last dalliance with man's best friend was Scooby-Doo and its awful sequel. Thankfully, this family-oriented romp is well scripted by Analisa LaBianco and Jeff Bushell, juxtaposing action sequences with slapstick interludes and a hint of amour. With a spring in its step and a wag in its tail, Gosnell's film soon has us barking appreciatively to a familiar tune of friendship overcoming all boundaries.

Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore) is the four-legged companion of cosmetics doyenne Vivian Ashe (Curtis), who lavishes all of her love on the snooty Chihuahua. When Vivian is called away to Europe on business and the usual dog sitter is indisposed, the doting owner entrusts her most prized possession to selfish niece Rachel (Piper Perabo), who only wants to party with her friends. To that end, Rachel heads for Mexico on a weekend break with two gal pals and drags Chloe along for the ride. Unfortunately, the Chihuahua is stolen by villainous dog-napper Vasquez (Jose Maria Yazpik), who organises illegal dogfights. He plans to throw Chloe to her death at the jaws of his bloodthirsty Doberman, El Diablo (Edward James Olmos). "I was born to shop not fight... unless it's a sales rack," whimpers the Chihuahua. Luckily, an emotionally crippled German Shepherd called Delgado (Andy Garcia) steps in to save Chloe from her fate and the unlikely partners in crime go on the run for their lives. Meanwhile, Rachel also embarks on a countrywide search for Chloe aided by Vivian's hunky landscape gardener Sam (Manolo Cardona) and his devoted dog, Papi (George Lopez).

BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA. CHLOE and PAPI. Photographer: Daniel Daza.  Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Beverly Hills Chihuahua is simple yet very sweet, transplanting Chloe from her swanky surroundings to a dog-eat-dog world where only the brave survive by scrounging for scraps. Barrymore and her co-stars deliver energetic vocal performances that capture the quirky personalities of their alter egos, while Perabo and Cardona conduct sappy between the set pieces. Violence is kept to a minimum, so as not to upset younger viewers, and a final caption reminds audiences about the responsibilities that come with owning a dog. Not that this will stop excitable tykes asking mummy and daddy for a Chihuahua of their own.

- Sam Cannon


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