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Unleashed.jpg

We Watched That Kate Micucci Rom-Com Where She Dates Her Pets, You're Welcome

By Kristy Puchko | Film | January 23, 2018 |

By Kristy Puchko | Film | January 23, 2018 |


Unleashed.jpg

Have you heard about the romantic-comedy where a woman’s beloved dog and cat come become men, and then she dates them? It’s called Unleashed. It stars singer/songwriter/comedian Kate Micucci. And it’s utterly insane.

Just check out the trailer:

Unleashed is now on Netflix. So the time has come for a live-blog of this possibly pro-bestiality rom-com.

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Maybe this will be fun, right? Like maybe it’ll be self-aware, a clever commentary on modern dating. Or maybe it’ll just be super bonkers. I’d take either.

Emma (Micucci) has no pets because her boyfriend Luke (Josh Brener) is “crazy allergic.” But in the scene immediately after he is introduced, Luke steals her development files for an app she’s created (which is basically Sky Map), then sneaks off into the night.

Bad News: He gets super rich off her idea. Good News: she gets to adopt a golden retriever and a…cat. It’s black and white. I don’t know cat brands. Breeds. Whatever.

BOB! It’s Stranger Things’ Bob (Sean Astin), but in an alternate timeline where he lives in San Francisco and plays yoyo.

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Emma’s clothes are painfully ugly in an attempt to make her adorkable. When will we hold Zooey Deschanel responsible for her part in creating this exhausting character trope?

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Oh! Pitch Perfect’s Hana Mae Lee is in this! She plays Emma’s sassy friend, who has style and backhanded compliments at the ready.

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“Astrology is great, Emma. We’re talking gods and upheaval…stuff is about to get very real for you.” I like Emma’s friend less now.

Even before the transformation, Emma is sort of making out with her cat and saying, “Oh, Ajax, you’re so flirtatious.”

Now the dog’s involved. It’s not bestiality. But it’s getting there.

Ok. Astrology predicted something major would happen and that something major is her pets break lose and commune with the stars and become men. One of them, the kind of man who will chase down a shitbag cyclist, totally naked.

The dog as man looks like what happened when Bender became human on Futurama.

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The cat (Justin Chatwin) is human, nude and parading past a movie theater where the patrons are agog. He just put his peen in a stranger’s face and asked for her coat. She obliged. But not in the horrified way you might expect.

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The dog (Steve Howey) has stumbled upon a leather bar and been mistaken for a beefy submissive, because he has a collar on. Meanwhile the cat is climbing fire escapes to steal more clothes.

Apparently Bob is named Carl.

“I turned human, not stupid.” The cat is reprimanding the dog for being a dingus. The cat has been quietly observing. He understands what clothes and cash are, and that humans don’t shit in the street. He informs the dog that Emma will only want one man in her life. So now that they are both men, the competition for her heart/home is on.

“I’m getting back on that velvet couch, human or not.” This is not a euphemism.

Emma’s pajamas are her most acceptable outfit so far.

The cat’s look of dress pants, no shirt, and trench coat actually works. Naturally, he wanders into an audition and becomes a model.

Okay. Putting the Cat Man on the catwalk, it’s funny. The slo-mo and purring is a nice touch. This sequence alone might make this movie worth watching.

The Dog Man has stolen a sweatsuit and sneakers and dumb-lucked into training some runners. Howey is pretty great at playing a dumb, giddy beefcake. Chatwin is killing it a Cat Man/sexy weirdo. His flappy fondling of necklaces and headshots is both amusing and alluring.

The dog has learned tacos are spicy, and Red Bull is addictive. He is straight up pouring sugar in his mouth and stealing snack food. This is that Futurama ep now.

Poor homeless Dog Man has met a sex worker. She’s taking him home.

Bob-Carl lives in a tiny log cabin on the back of a truckbed. It has a ladder to his bed. It’s cute. Tiny House Hunters type stuff.

Emma and Bob-Carl are clearly meant to be the eccentric couple we’re rooting for. But, eh. Emma kind of sucks. She’s rude and anxious, has no sense of style and is way too into her pets. Unleashed takes for granted that we’ll root for her instead of actually making her a compelling heroine. Bob-Carl deserves someone better, someone who is at least nice to him.

I like Micucci generally. She’s great as half of Garfunkel and Oates, and was excellent in Don’t Think Twice. But her quirky appeal is drowned here in lackluster writing, lazy rom-com cliches, and bad fashion.

Running from the confused sex worker, Dog Man hollers, “You’re a nice person but I can’t smell you through all that perfume. It scares me so I’m going to talk louder and louder until you leave me alone.” I can relate to this.

Watching a man in a bespoke suit cleaning himself life a cat, and I’m not not into it.

Emma’s out with Cat Man, and sleeping on Bob-Carl. Ugh. No respect.

“Once you earn a cat’s love, you’ve got it forever.” / “He’s like a fourth grade teacher crossed with like an alien.” Emma is totally going to fuck this Cat Man, isn’t she? Hissing at puppies aside, I get it.

Omg. He’s drinking milk like a cat, and…yeah. I still would.

The dog stuff has already gotten old. He’s making his runners play fetch, stand unhappily in water, and eat dog treats. This movie was definitely written by a cat person.

Dog Man went to a thrift shop for a makeover montage. Now he’s invaded Emma’s office to take coffee orders and win her heart. “He just seems so positive!”

The Cat Man brought a ball to distract Dog Man. And off he goes!

Shame the Cat Man climbs a tree and gets stuck. Actually, I take that back. Him being reluctant to come down even when firetruck shows up is good stuff.

Fuck. I like this movie.

Unleashed is letting down Howey and Chatwin. These guys are game, and more than this movie deserves.

Cat Man has made it to the couch! Now will he make it on the couch? Am I rooting for this? Is it beastiality if she fucks her cat when he’s in a man body? Oh. He just wants to Netflix, not chill. Tough break.

Imagine a cat channel-surfing. Now imagine a cat in a man’s body doing that. Yeah. Good times.

Cat Man and Dog Man have chased down a douchebag cyclist who knocked down Emma, back when they were Cat Cat and Dog Dog. They’re circling and threatening him. And I want a spin-off buddy cop comedy of these two. Just run away from Emma, and devote yourselves to cleaning up the cyclist-ridden streets of San Francisco!

I wish Emma’s rockabilly astrologist gal pal was the heroine of this movie. She’s fun, stylish, and takes no shit.

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Micuchi songs chime in throughout as the soundtrack. Which is jarring, because they show charm and wit that Emma totally lacks. I’m so bummed for Micuchi. She seems perfect for offbeat rom-com heroine, but this is letting her down at every opportunity.

“Oh yeah, someone’s in heat. You’re looking good you little tart.” Cat Man’s got a wandering eye for strays.

She’s slept with both of them now. But just sleeping. The Cat Man curled up around her head. The Dog Man curled up across her lap, and that’s it. Look. I didn’t think I’d root for them to bang. But here we are. Why make this taboo your premise if you’re not going to pull this weird trigger?

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This is getting sad-weird. Dog Man sniffed out that Emma’s boss has cancer, and now he’s giving her life advice. “Just be” and “chase pigeons.”

Emma won’t even tell anyone that her ex stole her app. Also, she just mentioned she is an orphan, which is why she has trust issues. What is happening.

We have contact! Emma is making out with Cat Man.

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Welp. That was quick and anticlimactic. She saw a white patch in his hair and has figured out the truth, so she bolted to dump all this on Bob-Carl.

Bob-Carl, run. There’s got to be a girl out there for you who won’t bring craziness and demodogs into your life.

Emma has now confronted both of her pets about the truth. And she’s asking them to be a throuple? But there can’t be kids. “I’m neutered. That’s on you.” So, there’s no hope for them hooking up now, is there?

The Cat Man is teaching her confidence and hissing to prepare her for a work thing where she can also confront her shitty thieving ex. This movie has a lot of montages.

Luke enters in slo-mo and chimes, “Anna bonnana fofanna. How many moons has it been?” Someone just punch this dipshit ex already. At least Emma showed up with her hot model boyfriend/pet.

Remember how I said her ex is allergic to pets? Apparently that’s true even when they are in man bodies. This is instrumental in his comeuppance.

“There’s no mind games. Just actual games. Mostly fetch.” This is the best line in this movie.

This just will not end. We all know where this is going. They’ve run through all the dog and cat schtick possible. Emma has successfully humiliated her shitty ex. We know her new astrology app will be a hit. We know Emma will realize Bob-Carl is her destined love. We know Cat Man and Cat Dog will transform back. Can we just get there already?

Every new cool girl look from her gal pal has me cursing that she’s not the hero. At least they put Emma in a not hideous outfit. But it’s still bland.

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The dog is doing tequila shots. And now he’s howling and dry-humping random women on the dance floor.

Fuck. I do not like this movie.

Upside of being human: hands. Downside: overthinking things, not being able to lick your own private parts.

So. Much. Slo-mo. It’s a lazy way to make moments seem more profound than they are. And b/c it’s being done in post-production, it’s looking really sloppy, like Netflix is buffering. But it’s not. I rewound to check. I made this movie longer. For journalism. For you. You bastards.

Stars blah blah they’re back to normal. Cut to some time later, Emma has moved into Bob-Carol’s tiny, transportable cabin. She’s professionally super successful. Cat knows how to use the TV remote, and dog still loves tequila.

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I need tequila. No. I deserve tequila.



Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.



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