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» Opens August 15"Uptown Girls" is a perky comedy aimed at young women that gets the job done with crisp efficiency.
Barry Josephson is producing from a script by Ari Schlossberg.
Forced into an adoption of his own to escape the pound, Canid 3942 -- renamed Hubble by his 12-year-old "master," Owen Baker (Liam Aiken) -- decides to take Owen into his confidence: Owen is given the ability to hear Hubble (voiced by Matthew Broderick) and the other neighborhood dogs when they speak.
Owen proves the perfect companion, being without a friend since his parents (Molly Shannon and Kevin Nealon) make a living by buying, renovating and selling homes, leaving Owen without one of his own.
At this juncture, the action disappoints as Hoffman pulls back from the rich possibilities for physical comedy.
The doggie tricks seem rather ordinary, while the whole third act feels sentimental and contrived. exists for the middle section where youngsters and dogs speak the same language. Baker: Kevin Nealon Connie: Brittany Moldowan Hubble: Matthew Broderick Barbara Ann: Delta Burke Wilson: Donald Faison Nelly: Brittany Murphy Shep: Carl Reiner Greater Dane: Vanessa Redgrave Greater Dane's henchman: Cheech Marin Running time -- 88 minutes MPAA rating: PG » Brittany Murphy is attached to star in "Boyfriend in a Box", which will be written by Gren Wells as part of her two-picture deal with Warner Bros. The project was sold as a pitch by Wells and is based on the novelty item of the same name.
The modestly budgeted MGM release should perform well in theatrical and ancillary markets.
The oddity here is the involvement of Boaz Yakin, director of much harder-edged films such as "Fresh" and "A Price Above Rubies", and renowned cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, whom one associates with Scorsese and Fassbinder, among others.
Dakota Fanning, who most recently teamed onscreen with Brittany Murphy in MGM's "Uptown Girls", has found her way to the lead role in Fox's "Hide and Seek" for director John Polson.
The project will see her star as Emily, the daughter of Robert De Niro's character who is torn up over the suicide of her mother.
Hoffman, though, makes certain Owen and his new friend Connie (Brittany Moldowan) do not get upstaged by the dogs as the two-legged and four-legged actors share scenes well.
The script builds nicely to a slapstick climax, where the arrival of the Greater Dane (Vanessa Redgrave) from Sirius to inspect the troops coincides with the sale of the Baker family's latest house.
The idea here is that a dog arrives from outer space -- a border terrier from the dog star Sirius, to be exact -- to make certain "Earth dogs" are dominating the planet as has been their responsibility since they arrived from Sirius thousands of years ago.