Release Date: March 24, 2017
Cast: Patrick Adams, Octavia Spencer, George Lopez, Nia Vardalos
Director: Adam Collis
Studio: New College Cinema
Producers: Adam Robinson, Stefanie Epstein, Mark Edward King, James Mather Miller, F. Miguel Valenti, Adam Collis
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Car Dogs is one of those films that falls squarely in the band of ‘not unwatcheable’ movies. It’s long, clocking in at an unnecessary hour and forty minutes of screentime to tell what is essentially a poor man’s Wolf of Wall Street.
Car Dogs tells the story of a man wrestling with his father’s unreasonable expectations and his own ambitions. The main character has to sell a ridiculous amount of cars in one day in order to make the down payment on a new franchise his father promised if he could raise the money in time.
Along the way, we watch as he gradually sells his soul to sell the cars, aka he loses himself and his sense of morality in pursuit of a greater dream à la The Devil Wears Prada. Unfortunately, the main character doesn’t have panache or heart of America’s sweetheart, Anne Hathaway. #sorrynotsorry #wheresmeryl
The movie takes itself way too seriously. For being marketed as a comedy/drama, the first half hour of the movie is way too much car jargon and expletive-laced screaming to be anything resembling mirth or enjoyment. I swear my stress levels went up watching this movie, and I spend my days working in politics.
I wonder how a story like this managed to bag the A-list actors and television personalities it did: all the performances from the cast were fantastic; unfortunately, the writing just didn’t measure up. This was a collaboration with film students from Arizona State University, so maybe some missteps can be blamed on inexperience.
However, again, the film isn’t unwatcheable. It’s just not very pleasant and it’s about 40 minutes too long.
It’s like as if someone sapped the satire and the humor from Wolf of Wall Street and did a straight take trying to convince us that the high power world of finance should be treated the same way as the low stakes world of selling cars, minus the fun and casual drug use. It’s a pale imitation of two better produced films, without anything remarkable to call its own.