Beverly Hills Chihuahua Review
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You know the old saying, You can’t judge a book by its cover? Well, I’ve always thought that the same was true of movies: you can’t judge a movie by its trailer, either. So although the trailer for Disney’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua—the psychedelic one, with an army of little dogs dancing on an ancient Aztec pyramid—gave me a migraine, I was prepared to enjoy the movie anyway. As it turns out, I was right—and the movie is nothing like its trailer. Unfortunately, though, it may have been better if it was.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua is the story of a pampered pup named Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore), who lives with her wealthy owner, Viv (Jamie Lee Curtis), in a gorgeous home in Beverly Hills. When Viv heads to Italy on a business trip, she leaves Chloe in the care of her equally pampered niece, Rachel (Piper Perabo).

  
 
When her friends decide to go on an impromptu road trip to Mexico, Rachel packs up the pooch and heads out the door. But Chloe is far from thrilled to be locked in a hotel room with nothing but dog food to eat, so she escapes the first chance she gets—and as she looks for Rachel, she’s dognapped and forced into a dog-fighting ring. With help from her new friend, Delgado (Andy Garcia), she manages to escape, but she’s still far from home.

When Chloe goes missing, Rachel panics and heads out to look for her. And after word of Chloe’s disappearance gets back home, Viv’s landscaper, Sam (Manolo Cardona), and his dog, Papi (George Lopez), join in the search.

Unlike its wild-and-crazy trailers, Beverly Hills Chihuahua is a surprisingly bland kids’ movie. In fact, I checked my watch about 45 minutes in, and I couldn’t believe that I was only halfway through; I felt like I’d been sitting there for hours. Perhaps that’s because the story doesn’t really go anywhere. Sure, the plot is familiar—and you’ve probably seen it dozens of times before—but it could have been fun anyway. In fact, Disney movies often do just that: take a familiar story and make it fresh and entertaining. But that’s not the case here.

As Chloe and Delgado try to find their way back to Beverly Hills, they could have gotten into some entertaining adventures along the way. Instead, they take a minute for some sort of cultural lesson during Mexico City’s El Día de los Muertos celebration, and they get scammed by a rat and an iguana in Puerto Vallarta—none of which is especially interesting. And when they finally meet up with the group of wild Chihuahuas in the wilderness, there’s no flashy musical number—just a strange (and preachy) doggy self-help seminar.

Meanwhile, the film is peppered with as many Mexican stereotypes as possible—right down to the soundtrack, which is crammed with nearly every Hispanic performer imaginable (like Enrique Iglesias), along with other stereotypically Mexican-sounding songs (like War’s “Low Rider”).

No amount of cute little talking Chihuahuas can save this pointless puppy adventure—especially if they’re voiced by the usually lovable Barrymore, who speaks so slowly and deliberately that Chloe sounds like she’s on doggy drugs. In accordance with the laws in many states and major metropolitan areas, Beverly Hills Chihuahua needs to be scooped, bagged, and properly disposed of.


DVD Review:
The DVD release of Beverly Hills Chihuahua includes three deleted scenes (including a long, drawn-out scene that would have made that strange Chihuahuas-in-the-wilderness scene even stranger), along with a blooper reel that shows the challenges of working with a canine cast. There’s also a totally unnecessary director’s commentary (Really, who’s going to listen to that—besides those of us who have to write the review?).

The highlight of the disc, however, is a feature called Legend of the Chihuahua, an animated short that’s actually much more entertaining than the movie itself. So if you somehow find yourself with a copy of the DVD, forget about the movie; just watch Legend of the Chihuahua and call it a day.

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