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Garfield: The Movie

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Garfield: The Movie

Starring: Bill Murray, Breckin Meyer
Director: Peter Hewitt
Rated: PG
RunTime: 93 Minutes
Release Date: June 2004
Genres: Family, Kids, Comedy

*Also starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Stephen Tobolowsky, Geoffrey Gould, Debra Messing, Brad Garrett, Alan Cumming, David Eigenberg, Nick Cannon, J.D. Crew, Jim Davis

Review by Susan Granger
0 stars out of 4

In the comics, Garfield is one fat and lazy cat. Unfortunately, so is his cat-astrophic live-action screen debut.

As the story begins, the lasagna-loving feline (voiced by sardonic Bill Murray) is flopped on his favorite chair in front of the television set, caustically commenting about the life of his nerdy owner Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer). It seems that Jon's besotted by Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt), a pretty veterinarian who asks him if he'll adopt Odie, a peppy puppy, a half-dachshund/half-cairn terrier mix. Eager to please, Jon agrees - much to Garfield's disgust. Basically, the indolent, curmudgeonly cat hates the dumb dog. But when Odie runs away after Garfield locks him out of the house one night and is dognapped by a smarmy cable-TV personality (Stephen Tobolowsky), who forces him to wear a painful electric-shock collar, Garfield, uncharacteristically, feels compelled to rush to Odie's rescue. Dog torture in a kiddie movie? What were they thinking?

While Garfield is computer-generated, the human actors are cartoonish in their stiff, one-note acting. Quite embarrassing. And, curiously, Garfield's four-legged pals - Odie, Nermal and Arlene - are played by real animals, which makes absolutely no sense whatever. Jim Davis' 26 year-old comic strip, which evolved into a Saturday morning series, deserves better than the lame script by Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow, blandly directed by Peter Hewitt. To add insult to injury, there's even an appalling amount of product placement (Wendy's, Petco, Wal-Mart, Goldfish Crackers). On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Garfield: The Movie" is an onerous 1. This tubby tabby dud belongs in the litter box, and it's already made my WORST of the year list.

Copyright 2004 Susan Granger

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