Max 'Awws', Max 'Ooohs', Max ‘Get ‘em, Max!’
3 happy pawprints
The cleverest manipulation ever! A not-so-cute dog and a not-so-nice teenager makes you go, ‘Awww!’ so many times that you start liking them and by the end of the movie are so involved with their story that you find yourself crying quietly as the credits roll.
When a dog cocks its head sideways and looks at you with hope in his eyes, even the hardest of hearts will melt a bit. Thanks to the internet, we are also used to sharp looking dogs that stand guard and protect, or really cute cuddly pooches. Here, Max the dog is not cute at all. Neither does he look smart. In fact, he is quite lean to the point of looking hungry and his coloring does not want to make you instantly want to pat him. And he has an attitude. He bites, he bares his fangs and is generally disgruntled.
The teenager who is given the responsibility of the dog is sullen and selfish and not likeable at all. The dog and the boy make a fitting pair.
But you've seen many films to know that is just the perfect set up so that you will be witness to the change and root for the duo when the change happens. You know the kids are going to love the practically mangy, unloved dog and his boy. No matter how many movies you have seen, you are soon swept along the change and begin to say, 'Awww!'
Not only do you say, 'Awww!', you even watch with bated breath when the two are in imminent danger, or you cover your eyes when you think bad things are going to happen. You don't care that you are being played. You love every minute of the movie. You want Max to bite the bad guys and you hope they never recover...
And then the credits roll. It's like catharsis. You let all those emotions run out of your eyes, and hope that the lights don't come on soon. You're a grown up. You are not expected to have a never ending lump in your throat...
Sniff! Sniff! Where are the tissues when you need them...