Old Dogs | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Old Dogs

Another family-is-fun retread from Disney

Two successful middle-aged business partners, best buds and bachelors, find themselves -- surprise! -- caring for 7-year-old twins during the very same fortnight they need to close a huge business deal. Because this is a Disney comedy, this unexpected nightmare turns out to be character-building exercise for the self-centered dudes (John Travolta, Robin Williams). It's lots of silly "fun" wrapped up in a happiness-is-found-in-families blanket. Old Dogs could have been worse -- after all, Travolta is not a talking baby, and Williams is relatively restrained -- but Walt Becker's comedy is still pretty pedestrian. Jokes are telegraphed miles in advance: spray-on tan catastrophe followed by big date, or "these pills made me ravenous ..." followed by a very important social occasion. The occasional cameo or physical comedy bit earned a smile or two. I was enjoying the "these pills ruined my depth perception" set-up followed by the very important golf game -- until Becker went for the cheap shot: the ball to the balls. Twice!

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