It’s for the dogs… and fans of Pretty Little Liars and The Flash!
Lucy Hale and Grant Gustin are set to star in a new rom-com together as Puppy Love, an Amazon Freevee original movie, will premiere on August 18.
The synopsis reads: “After a disastrous first date, wild child Nicole (Lucy Hale) and socially anxious Max (Grant Gustin) vow to lose each other’s numbers, until they learn that their dogs found a love match, and now puppies are on the way! The hilariously mismatched Nicole and Max are forced to become responsible co-parents, but may end up finding love themselves.”
The trailer depicts the terrible first date, along with the aftermath of the duo learning that their dogs are expecting and they will be grandparents.
Hale’s character’s stating, “What are you whining about, at least you got laid,” to her dog, the culprit in this disastrous meet-cute, is one of the highlights of the teaser. The doctor senses some sexual tension, though he insists it’s between the dogs, but he’s likely not catching a whiff of the hate-to-love-you vibes that Nicole and Max are emitting.
The two agree that they will move in together for “the kids” but end up falling for each other and “balancing” each other out.
While the trailer does seem to give too much away, as is usually the case these days, it’s evident that this is one of those feel-good movies that fans will enjoy despite knowing how things will turn out.
Puppy Love also marks Gustin’s first post-CW role, so hopefully there will be a promising turnout from longtime fans continuing to support his work.
You can watch the trailer below:
‘Puppy Love’ Movie Review — A Love Story for the Dogs (In the Best Possible Way)
When someone says something is for the dogs, it typically doesn’t mean that it’s good, but Puppy Love, streaming on Amazon’s FreeVee, definitely redefined the phrase.
*** Warning — This review has plot spoilers ***
The rom-com, starring Pretty Little Liars‘ Lucy Hale as Nicole and The Flash’s Grant Gustin, as Max centers around two polar opposites with unique meet-cute for this type of genre: after swiping right on each other, the duo decides to meet up at a park and bring their pups along for the adventure. While Nicole and Max don’t sleep with each other on the first date, their pups, Chloe and Channing Tatum, sure do, and one thing leads to another, and before you know it, these former strangers are now set to be doggy grandparents.
From there, things spiral out of control as they navigate this new dynamic together, harboring plenty of resentment and hatred for each other. It’s a classic hate-to-love scenario that also taps into the tried and proven theory that opposites attract. The duo decided that while they will support their pups, they don’t want to have anything to do with each other. However, when Nicole has to “rehome” Channing Tatum or risk getting kicked out of her no-dogs-allowed apartment, she essentially moves in with Max, which is a huge step for any relationship, especially one where two people aren’t dating and have a tense relationship, to begin with. But as they keep telling themselves, they are doing it solely for the dogs.
You go into this movie expecting Nicole and Max to end up together because rom-coms are predictable, let’s face it, but it’s all about the journey and not the destination—the moments tender moments that lead them to the realization that they are better together than they are apart. And it’s that character growth that makes this movie so enjoyable and different than all the ones set in small towns or around the holidays. They are two very different people with a shared love for their pets that eventually form a found family and find love together. It helps that Hale and Gustin have an organic chemistry.
Nicole starts off as closed off and emotionally guarded/unavailable, and her love life is a disaster as she can’t even properly pronounce the name of the guy that she’s dating while he’s breaking up with her. Max, on the other hand, has OCD and social anxiety, and it’s gotten so bad since his last relationship that he doesn’t even go in to work anymore (though it’s unclear why he doesn’t just get a remote job in the first place?), which is threatening his livelihood. At times, it seems like Gustin forgets that Max isn’t a confident former superhero, but he always reels it back in before it gets away from him. He really leans into the loveable goofball personality, and it’s nice to see him portray a character that isn’t limited to a superhero drama script.
It’s also refreshing to see both the characters portrayed in a realistic way as flawed human beings with realistic struggles and fears that is just doing their best. It may be a love story at the end of the day, but it’s also a love story about doing what’s necessary to better yourself.
Nicole starts to open up and share the vulnerable parts of herself with Max, a first since her dad died and she gave up her dreams of going to Udub, while Max braves going out into the public, learning that he doesn’t mind venturing out past his comfort zone. It’s sweet to see them both bring out the best of each other while also pushing each other’s boundaries because that’s what love is.
We get a lot of insight into both of their psyches and before you know it, you find yourself rooting for these crazy kids to find a way to be together, not just for the sake of the matchmaking pups, though they’d surely benefit, but for their own well-being as humans deserving of love and companionship—both the human and animal kind.
They may not have seen it at first, but they need each other in their lives, a point which becomes all too obvious when they eventually part ways after an explosive fight; it’s a turning point in the film where those things that they initially despised about one another are now the quirks that they love.
They’ve grown on each other by a twist of fate— and it’s more than just puppy love.
There’s a handful of supporting characters that appear throughout the film that elevate it, and while Hunter (Al Miro) is the least-enjoyable (read: insufferable) and quite frankly, unnecessary in every way, Max’s friend Sid (Nore Davis) and Nicole’s mom Diane (Jane-fricking-Seymour) break up the tension in a fun way. As for the best supporting cast member, well, it goes to Dr. Hert (Michael Hitchcock) who is just strange enough that it’s downright hilarious.
The movie, like any cliche rom-com, isn’t groundbreaking, nor will going to go down in history a la Barbie, but it’s a feel-good flick—an enjoyable watch with a fresh premise that will surely warm your heart. It’s got a well-paced plot, all the elements that make up a good story and keep audiences engaged, plenty of relatable moments (for millennials and singles alike), cute dogs rescued from a shelter (and the dumpster area in front of an apartment), and well, Hale and Gustin, who aren’t hard on the eyes either.
And props to whoever wrote the scene about the realities of trying to be intimate while owning dogs—nothing on television and in movies has ever been more relatable.
Puppy Love is premiering on Amazon Freevee starting August 18.
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