Dawg (2002) / Comedy-Romance
aka Bad Boy
MPAA Rated: R for sexual content and language
Running Time: 80 min.
Cast: Denis Leary, Elizabeth Hurley, Steffani Brass, Alex Borstein, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Mark Curry, Jackie Tohn, Chandler Riley Hecht
Director: Victoria Hochberg
Screenplay: Ken Hastings
Review published March 21, 2003
If this is the kind of screenplay that wins screenwriter Ken Hastings a first place award in a script competition, I definitely hope none of the other screenplays in the running are ever made into feature films. There's just no other way to say this. It stinks. All of the problems of this film stem from the wholly contrived plot and ridiculously conceived situations, with dialogue so silly, this would have been a better film had the cast just improvised each scene.
This dumb plot revolves around a womanizing playboy named Doug "Dawg" Munford, who after his grandmother's death, learns that he has inherited a million dollars. However, there is a condition before he will see any of the money, and that's for Dawg to get 12 of the women with whom he has had one night stands to forgive him for leading them on for sex. With the sexy lawyer (Hurley) at his side, Dawg hops in the car and proceeds to humiliate himself with the women he "loved and left" for his inheritance's sake.
With the exception of the aforementioned screenplay, all of the other elements here would point to a quality movie. Denis Leary and Elizabeth Hurley are interesting personalities to watch, having handled their share of comedies with success in the past. The direction by longtime TV director Victoria Hochberg is solid, and good use of locales adds to the nice look of the overall production. The soundtrack is lively as well. It should have at least been a pleasant affair.
Unfortunately, what we have here is the "idiot plot" in full swing, the kind of storyline that requires all of the characters to do things only a complete idiot would do in order for the plot to avoid coming completely unhinged. The silliest aspect: Dawg must get all of the women to say, "I forgive you," and even when the context would seem awkward, they all say that exact phrase, some of them without much solicitation for forgiveness.
You'd have to really have an incredibly low threshold for entertainment to bother with comedy this futile, and if you are unfortunate to see it, give yourself a gold star just for making it to the completely predictable ending. I originally didn't understand why this movie's title was changed from Bad Boy to Dawg, but now that I survived it, I can't think of a more appropriate name to call it.
©2003 Vince Leo