DVD: Beethoven (1992)
I’d have loved to have been in the room when Beethoven was pitched as a movie…
“Let’s make a movie about a cute little St Bernard puppy who ingratiates itself into the life of a suburban family and causes lots of hilarious chaos as it inevitably grows into 185 pounds of slobbering, hairy playfulness”
“That sounds great, but lets also add an ongoing narrative thread about a couple of dognappers who try to capture Beethoven and other dogs so that they can take them to a sadistic vet who wants to shoot them all in the head so that he can earn cash testing the ballistic properties of different bullets for a shady arms company…the kids will love that”
Shooting dogs in the head aside, Beethoven is a fun family movie with some genuinely funny moments, mostly centred around the antics of Beethoven and the father of the family (Charles Grodin) who never wanted a dog in the first place, and despite the early friction between them, the father eventually submits to the dogs charms.
Slapstick humour abounds, and Dean Jones as the evil veterinarian Dr. Varnick plays it so over the top that he could well be a pantomime villain, along with Oliver Platt and Stanley Tucci (with hair!) as the 2 hapless henchmen tasked with catching the dogs for him.
A ridiculously over the top ending made me want to watch the following movies in the franchise.
Definitely passed the “6 laugh test” for me with it’s silly humour.