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Archives for : Jenny Slate

Movie Review: “The Secret Life of Pets” is a Delightful Treat, But Not Enough Meat

How do our pets act when we’re not around? It’s a question we’re so curious about when we see dogs whimper as we walk out the door. When we see cats comfortably relaxing, and they seem like they could care less as we walk by them. Well, Illumination Entertainment’s newest film, “The Secret Life of Pets” tells us just that. From a cat who raids the fridge, to a dog who loves head-banging to rock music, these are just a few things we get to discover about the daily lives of pets in this film.

The story follows a terrier named Max (Louis C.K.) who has a great relationship with his owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper). And every day when she leaves for work, he anxiously awaits her return. Usually, he kills the time by having some his friends/other pets over to hang out. But his life is turned upside down, when Katie returns home one day with a new dog she got from the pound, Duke (Eric Stonestreet). Max instantly dislikes him, and the two can’t seem to get along. The following day during their group dog walk a fight ensues which results in them getting parted from their dog walker, and leaves them struggling to find their way home.

If this plot sounds somewhat familiar, try replacing the pets with toys. Yes, the premise of the film is essentially the same as “Toy Story”. Unfortunately, “The Secret Life of Pets” just doesn’t properly execute the same heartfelt message.

Don’t get me wrong, “The Secret Life of Pets” is still an enjoyable film and will thoroughly entertain kids. Especially through the biggest standouts of the movie Snowball (Kevin Hart) and Gidget (Jenny Slate), who provide the biggest laughs. Listening to Kevin Hart’s voice on a tiny, cute, little bunny who loathes humans is an ironic and hilarious combination.

I only wish that the film focused a little more on the things that pets do when their owners are gone and when they return home. They graze over the cliché actions we’d expect, but it is quickly over shadowed by a journey of trying to get Max and Duke home.

“The Secret Life of Pets” is absolutely worth the watch, but if you have already seen “Zootopia” or “Finding Dory”, don’t expect this film to come close in comparison. The entertainment value is there, but it lacks the heart and depth that we usually hope for from these family animated movies.

Rating 3/5

“The Secret Life of Pets” hits theaters July 8.

“The Secret Life of Pets” Trailer HD

Movie Review: “Obvious Child” is One of the Best Films of the Year!

Jenny Slate gives a breakthrough performance in an authentic romantic comedy that touches on the daring topic of abortion.

Brilliantly written/directed by Gillian Robespierre and based on her feature short from 2009, Obvious Child tells the story of, Donna (Slate), a twenty-something stand-up comic who seems to be perfectly content with her life.  But after her boyfriend dumps her to be with one of her “good” friends, she learns that when it rains, it pours.  Within a week she has not only lost the man in her life, but also her job. So like any woman who is going through an emotional crisis, she decides to indulge in a careless night of drinking.  That night she meets Max (Jake Lacy), a straight-laced honest to God good guy.  They engage in a one-night stand that was never meant to be anything more.  However, three weeks later Donna discovers she is pregnant and plans to get an abortion.  But she is conflicted when Max reappears in her life and wants nothing more than to take her out on a “proper date.”

Though Obvious Child deals with a sensitive subject that most people have strong opinions on, it is important to understand that there is so much more to this story.  It’s about finally facing the reality of being independent for the first time. Donna must make tough decisions that she would otherwise avoid.  Like the film quote says “creative energy can sometimes come at the lowest point your life.”  Regardless of the circumstances, audiences can relate to this film when remembering a dark time that forced you to start over.

Slate is best known for  SNL, Parks and Rec, and many more comedic roles.  Once audiences watch this film, Jenny Slate will be remembered for this incredible, uplifting performance that will make you laugh and ache.  She shares a refreshing on-screen chemistry with Jake Lacy, as the two portray a awkwardly genuine relationship.

Donna doesn’t go through her troubles alone.  She is supported by loving friends and family that chime in with advice and counsel.  She has her English professor mother (Polly Draper), her puppeteer father (Richard Kind), and her best friend/roommate (Gaby Hoffman).

This story is not meant to offend anyone and it doesn’t try to change your beliefs on the topic at hand.  The film just shows the point of view of a woman who solely handles the decisions of a serious situation in a light manner.  I highly recommend this movie, as it is my favorite of the year so far.  Obvious Child is smart, witty, hilarious, and unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Obvious Child hits select theaters June 20.

Rating: 5/5

Interview with Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre

obvious child

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com