Dog Gone – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Stephen Herek
Starring: Rob Lowe, Johnny Berchtold, Kimberly Williams -Paisely
Streaming on Netflix January 13th
It does sound like the writer came up with the name first and based the plot around it, but this is in fact based on a true story of a missing dog. I appreciate that dogs go missing every day but what made this search so special was that it captured the imagination of the world.
Back in 1998, Fielding Marshall’s dog Gonker went missing while hiking with his owner on the Appalachian Trail. Gonker suffered from Addison syndrome, which meant he required a lifesaving injection every 30 days. Therefore, the search for him was a race against time. As Fielding and his father John searched the trail the story made the local paper before getting picked up by Associated Press and going global.
Here, Fielding is played by Berchtold and John by Brat Pack legend Rob Lowe (every character has received quite the glow up here) and the search for Gonker also turns into a father and son bonding exercise. In real life, Fielding was older when he adopted Gonker to help him deal with grief after the death of his baby daughter. But here is a directionless recent college graduate whose lack of desire to plan for the future fills his father with despair, because obviously, that’s a better story for Hollywood.
Dramatic licence aside (and there is quite a bit) this is completely designed to tug at your heartstrings. Overall, it achieves this although it does descend into schmaltz on several occasions.
This is a very sweet movie that all the family (and their canine companions) will enjoy. It’s far from ground-breaking but it’s heartwarming and feelgood like a cosy cup of hot chocolate. On another note, if anyone knows what moisturiser Rob Lowe uses can they let me know because I swear he hasn’t aged since the early 90s!