Last week, I looked back on the movie Under Wraps and was happy that it still held up as a fun family film. Wish, I could say the same about You Lucky Dog. This one was pretty rough. At least it was easy to find on Disney Plus.
As a young boy, Jack had the gift of being able to read the mind of his dog. Now as an adult he has lost his gift but works as a dog therapist while pretending he can still understand dogs. After his gift comes back suddenly, he helps an old man figure out why his dog is depressed. After the old man dies, Jack realizes he left his dog with 64 million dollars and leaves Jack in charge of the dog’s money since Jack is the only one that can understand him. This leaves the old man’s relatives furious as they intend to do whatever they can to get their money back.
Does this plot sound complicated? That is because it is.
I had never seen this movie before and it seems like others haven’t either. I wondered at first why this movie didn’t seem to be well known. It came out between such movies as Under Wraps and Halloweentown which still have a following, so you would think people would be aware of it. However, after watching it, I think I think I know why it isn’t on replay for many.
The Plot is Confusing
A family film doesn’t need to be too childish but it still needs to have an audience. This movie is too dumb for adults while still being too boring for kids. The dog is cute but the plot wants to focus more on the estate beneficiary.
Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains) plays Jack and even though he is our main character, he isn’t very likable. For years he has been conning people about a gift he doesn’t have and we are supposed to root for him when he gets put in charge of this dog and his money.
We are supposed to root against the relatives of the old man but they are kind of right that the money belongs to them. The old man who died had a 3-minute conversation with Jack and just left him in charge of 64 million dollars. It’s crazy.
The tone is also all over the place. After Jack and the dog bond a bit, we get some slapstick as if the writers remembered this is supposed to be a Disney comedy. Somehow because Jack can understand the dog, the dog is able to possess Jack at times. Yes, like a demon. This leads to Jack eating a couch because the dog wants to eat a couch. The dog wants to dig in the yard so obviously, Jack wants to. This comes out of nowhere and isn’t really explained and is just odd.
The tone once again changes as in the final act of the movie we get a courtroom drama as Jack has to prove his ability to understand the dog in order to keep the money for the dog. If he fails to prove it, the relatives get the money. It is as silly as it sounds, taken way too seriously and the dog looks like he doesn’t want to be there.
There were a lot of odd choices throughout this movie. When Jack reads the mind of the dog, we don’t hear the dog’s thoughts. Instead, we hear barking in Jack’s mind. Yes, it would have been silly to give the dog a voice speaking English, but it would have been a better way to know what he was thinking. Or skip the barking and just go with some psychic hum or tone. Barking was a super-odd choice.
There are no children in this movie and I can’t help but find that odd as well. Kids need stuff they can relate to. The dog is very cute but maybe if Jack were a child instead of a con man in his late 20s, this movie would have done better. Or if he had a younger brother he was trying to support, it would have made him more sympathetic and provided a kid for children to relate to.
You Lucky Dog is a forgettable film that is as confusing as it is questionable. The tone is off and there aren’t many laughs at all. James Avery and Taylor Negron appear in the movie and they are good as always but it isn’t enough to recommend this one. It isn’t the worst movie ever but it makes you keep wondering why they even made it. You Lucky Dog definitely belongs in the dog house.