Every once in a great while … comes along a movie … that looks so goddamn asinine and ridiculous, I just have to see it for myself. Beverly Hills Chihuahua was that movie. A few months ago in Pajiba Love, I inadvertently posted the teaser trailer for Beverly Hills Chihuahua, featuring a plucky brown Chihuahua named Papi standing before a sea of Chihuahuas like a miniature César Chávez crying out for Chihuahua rights, having no clue what the hell it was. It was just one of those things that was so stupid it made me laugh … Plus, I’m not going to lie. Talking animals? They’re kind of my weak spot. Unfortunately, that one-minute teaser ended up being thoroughly more entertaining than anything found in the insipidly boring Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Yes, the movie was so bad that not even talking animals could save it. I’d say, for me personally, one of the biggest problems with the talking animals was that Drew Barrymore’s voice came out of them. I thought the whole Drew Barrymore annoying factor would be lessened without having to actually look at Drew Barrymore’s annoying face and twisted, simpering smirk — but good news! She manages to be just as grating and irritating through vocalization alone!
Beverly Hills Chihuahua plays out not unlike Disney’s classic animated feature The ArtisoCats, updated for our modern day vapid, materialistic, Paris Hilton-worshipping society. Drew Barrymore stars as “Chloe,” a spoiled, uh, Beverly Hills Chihuahua (I think I counted like four times that they actually used the phrase “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” in the movie called Beverly Hills Chihuahua) who is owned by Viv, a fragrance mogul played Jamie Lee Curtis, who must have found time in her busy schedule of doing the bowel yogurt commercials to fit in a crappy movie. Chloe is pampered more than most humans — she’s dressed in the finest garments, wears a Harry Winston diamond collar, frequents the salon, has an active social life and eats nothing but gourmet food. (The sad thing is that there are people out there who actually do this shit for their pets. I’ve seen them on the Discovery Channel or whatever and they’re called “animal abusers.”) When Viv has to leave on short notice to attend a promotional tour in Europe, she leaves her precious dog baby-surrogate with her irresponsible and flighty niece Rachel (Piper Perabo), who drags Chloe down to Mexico so she can get her skank on and promptly loses her.
Almost immediately after getting lost, Chloe is kidnapped by a Mexican dog-fighting ring and is taken to Mexico City to take part in dog fights, even though she’s wearing a diamond dog-collar and little pink booties. Because, whatever. There she meets a German Shepherd named Delgado (Andy Garcia, yes really) who takes pity on her and rescues her from getting torn apart by a Doberman Pinscher named Diablo (Edward James Olmos) and the two flee, rescuing all of the other captive dogs. Conveniently, right after Chloe escapes, the dog-fighting ringleader figures out who he almost just had killed and sends Diablo after her to try to hold her for ransom. Meanwhile, Rachel enlists the help of Viv’s gardener Sam (Manolo Cardona) and the aforementioned Chihuahua Papi (George Lopez) to rescue Chloe. So the majority of the movie plays out like your run-of-the-mill wild-goose chase, with Delgado and Chloe evading the dognappers and trying to get her home, while Rachel, Sam and Papi play detective with the help of surprisingly accommodating Mexican Law Enforcement — who apparently have nothing better to do than look for a lost Chihuahua. I guess the crime rate must be really low down there or something. The adventures and misadventures include hitching a ride with a coyote to help them cross the border (Played by a real coyote! Get it?) and eventually stumbling upon a huge tribe of native Chihuahuas living in Aztec ruins, who teach Chloe about “finding her bark.” And then at the end, of course, she finds her bark, literally, and saves the day. I’m not making that up. That really happens.
There are a few parts of the movie that aren’t completely horrible. Like for instance, when Rachel, Sam and Papi meet up with a few of the strays that Chloe helped escape, and ultimately find them all good homes — which sends a nice message about adopting homeless shelter animals. Unfortunately, that message will probably be lost among the countless hordes of children who will be asking their parents for pet Chihuahuas for Christmas this year. But really, Beverly Hills Chihuahua is just kind of a snoozer. I’m sure kids will like it, but it was just too boring and stupid to hold the attention of an animal lover — albeit a surly animal lover — like myself. If you want to see a borderline-acceptable talking animal movie, ultimately you’d be better off just staying at home and watching Look Who’s Talking Now. At least that’s got Danny DeVito in it and not some weak, sickly-looking little white rat. No fucking Mas.
Stacey Nosek is the world’s most articulate idiot, and a television columnist for Pajiba. You can also find her ripping on celebrities at Webster’s Is My Bitch.Let's Euthanize This Bitch
Film | October 6, 2008 | Comments ()