Bay Woof, December 2009

"A Buddy Movie Goes to the Dogs"

Barry Stone's first film was a short called "Dog," four minutes of doggies wandering around doing doggie things as a voice-over puts words in their mouths. At the Grand Lake Theater on November 5, lucky viewers got to see it, followed by Stone's latest effort, a dog lover's dream of a movie called Sniff...

Over the course of 87 minutes, we meet Labrador Retrievers Gabby and Mikey, two pupils at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael; Zoe a Jack Russell Terrier who happens to be a champion surfer; and numerous other cute, courageous and thoroughly captivating dogs.

They all play themselves to perfection and threaten to steal the show, but the human characters are engaging too, as they take in the delights of the Bay Area while suffering the stresses of low-budget film making. We find ourselves rooting for all the dogs and most of the people, even ditsy Juliette (played by film veteran Amanda Plummer) and her stuffy jealous husband Derek (dittto Maurice Godin).

The film is not all fun and games. Serious segments include a touching monologue by a man contemplating the the death of his long-time furry friend and blow-by-blow training sessions with real working dogs.

Sniff manages to entertain and educate at the same time ...

is alternately funny, amazing, moving and just plain silly. It all adds up to a must-see for dog devotees...



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