Top positive review
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One of the least appreciated, sweet little films of all time
on June 21, 2001
Thoroughly charming - one of those rare films that is unabashedly what it means to be: a simple movie about a man learning to love something besides himself. In this case, it happens to be a dog (a very unusual beloved beast). There are little gems of performances, John McIntire as Amos, who brings the old saw about "people look like their dogs" to life, and Mare Winningham who really shows how powerful a performance understatement can make. And of course Tom Hanks, who is as always the most charming human being in the world. He also brings this very flawed person to admirable life. Then Hooch, of course, whose real name is sadly lacking in the list of credits.
The screenplay itself is a marvel of simple, unassuming comedy. If we want to get "appreciatin'", then Hanks' urgently yelled, "I got a muffin for you, Hooch!" is a far more immediate and understandable cry of the everyman than "Reuben! Reuben!" And there can be no more perfect cry of human frustration than Hanks imploring Hooch (who has, after eating, sleeping, and going on his nightly "rounds", continued to howl all night), "What?! What?!"
Hooch's ending is very sad, especially if you have young ones in the house, but the sadness is redeemed by a hopeful ending. I love this movie. It never ceases to make me smile after the worst of days. And no film can have a higher commendation than that.