[Screen It]


(1999) (David Spade, Sophie Marceau) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Mild Heavy None Mild
Moderate None Minor None Moderate
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy Minor None Moderate Mild

Romantic Comedy: A restaurant owner reluctantly kidnaps a pretty neighbor's dog so that he can spend time with her as she searches for her missing pet.
Dylan Ramsey (DAVID SPADE) is a successful L.A. restauranteur who's not as lucky with love. When not dealing with his zany staff, including delivery boy Wally (ARTIE LANG) who wants to emulate his boss, and hoping to get a loan from reluctant bank president Millstone (MARTIN SHEEN) to expand his restaurant, Dylan confides in his best friend and business partner, Mark (MITCHELL WHITFIELD) about his failed romantic life.

Things look up for him, however, when he literally runs into his new, attractive neighbor, Lila Dubois (SOPHIE MARCEAU), who's chasing after her escaped dog, Jack. A French cellist, Lila hopes to resurrect her career in LA and avoid her handsome, but pushy old boyfriend, René (PATRICK BRUEL) who's followed her to America to win her back despite his previous womanizing ways.

Realizing that Jack might be his ticket to Lila's heart, Dylan briefly kidnaps the pooch so that he can return him to Lila and thus be the hero. Things get complicated, however, when an anniversary ring that Mark gave Dylan to hide from his wife ends up missing. Not sure whether the mischievous canine hid or ate the ring, Dylan realizes he can't return the dog to Lila until he finds it.

Thus, as Dylan deals with hiding the dog from Lila, he must also contend with trying to get his loan, with Wally who's seemingly moved in with him, and with René who's figured out Dylan's plan and hopes to expose it and ruin his chances to hook up with the unassuming cellist.

If they're fans of Spade (TV's "Just Shoot Me") or of lightweight romantic comedies, they might.
For crude and sex-related humor, brief nudity and language.
  • DAVID SPADE plays a restauranteur whose plan to briefly kidnap his pretty neighbor's dog so that he can return it, be the hero, and get a date with her, backfires and causes him to scramble to cover his tracks.
  • SOPHIE MARCEAU plays a French cellist who's relocated to L.A. and hopes to resurrect her musical career.
  • PATRICK BRUEL plays her obnoxious ex-boyfriend who, despite his philandering ways, wants to win her back and will do anything in his power to make sure Dylan doesn't get there first.
  • ARTIE LANG plays Dylan's overzealous delivery boy and slob who wants to emulate his boss.
  • MITCHELL WHITFIELD plays Dylan's competent friend and business partner.


    OUR TAKE: 2.5 out of 10
    When comic cruelty to animals elicits the biggest laughs from a romantic comedy, you'll not only feel sheepishly guilty if you laugh at some of the jokes, but will also immediately know that the filmmakers obviously realized that this weakly plotted film needed a lot more "oomph," and thus the cinematic cry, "Throw in the dog!" or more accurately, "Just throw the dog!"

    A mildly enjoyable, but certainly lightweight entry in the genre, "Lost & Found" is more likely to raise the ire of animal activists than please fans of films that normally star the likes of Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts, let alone be a huge commercial success.

    With what would normally be called animal abuse in outside circles and which hit its apex with last year's hilarious gross out comedy, "There's Something About Mary," (where a vicious pooch got electrocuted and eventually ended up in a full-body cast after being flung from a window) this recent, but odd trend in Hollywood gets the full treatment with this flick.

    Not only is little Jack tossed into rooms or suddenly dropped to the floor from several feet up, but he also has a bad hallucinatory trip (from eating too many human foods), is flung into the back seat of a car where he appears to be knocked out, and takes an unexpected and bumpy ride inside a clothes dryer. While some of those moments did their job of eliciting laughs among the audience members at our screening, you've got to wonder if this is all screenwriters can come up with to elicit laughs from today's moviegoers.

    That said, one must consider that this is the first script from screenwriters J.B. Cook and Marc Meeks (with additional input from lead actor Spade), but one wonders if the canine abuse was their idea or that of some studio honcho who realized the story was otherwise rather weak and uneventful. In either case, the latter description is accurate as this film has an incredibly lackluster plot, even for the romantic comedy genre where films are usually quite predictable and follow the same overall course.

    As such, there's little doubt that Lila will discover Dylan's ruse at some point, get mad at him for that, and thus endanger the potential for a happy ending (although if you think it will end that way, you haven't seen enough similar films in your lifetime). Beyond that, the main complication is waiting for the afore mentioned dog to pass a missing anniversary ring (thus ensuring some gross out material) and a former beau who's so stereotypically obnoxious and smarmy that you've got to wonder just what's with these women who date such creeps.

    Beyond all of that usual material, one's enjoyment of this film will heavily depend on how you feel about David Spade as a funny guy, leading romantic man and overall human being. I'll admit that I've never been a big fan of his style of wimpy sarcastic humor, and have found much of his starring work in films such as "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep" far more annoying than funny.

    On the contrary, I've enjoyed his performance on TV's "Just Shoot Me" that -- although it's still just David Spade playing the same type of character -- works because he's in a supporting role and doesn't have to carry the show. Unfortunately he's signed up to do just that here and simply doesn't have what it takes to carry it off successfully (although I'm sure his die-hard fans will disagree but they're in the losing minority in that vote).

    Sophie Marceau, on the other hand, could just appear on the screen, do nothing, and make at least half the audience smile just by watching her. Best known stateside for briefly being Mel Gibson's love interest in "Braveheart" and appearing in the more recent, but little seen "Firelight," Marceau has a great on-screen charisma that easily transcends her paper-thin role and makes her a likeable, sympathetic character.

    Patrick Bruel ("Sabrina") effectively plays the stereotypical smarmy creep -- but nothing more -- while Artie Lang (TV's "Mad TV") is all too apparently present simply to fill the void of the wacky, obese sidekick character created when Spade's former film partner, Chris Farley died.

    Overall, the film simply isn't that romantic or funny -- beyond the few animal-related jokes that some will find amusing -- to meet the requirements of this sort of picture. With an unimaginative plot that includes two stranded scenes of some elderly women (including Estelle Harris & Marla Gibbs) playing strip poker, and another where Spade has to sing a Neil Diamond song in public for an older woman's birthday bash that's presumably supposed to be funny but clearly isn't (why not have him do "What's New Pussycat" via Tom Jones -- the potential is far greater?) the film simply goes through the motions from start to finish.

    Missing many possibilities for comedic complications -- such as Dylan's buddy constantly wanting the ring back and/or people arriving with similar dogs for a posted $10,000 reward, etc... -- the film also suffers from an ending that's not only too convenient and contrived, but also entirely unbelievable.

    I realize that's an odd thing to say about a genre where the standard formula often deserves that same adjective, but it's a proper description of this film that too obviously hopes to mine some of the box office gold unearthed by "There's Something About Mary" but goes bust instead. We give "Lost & Found" a 2.5 out of 10.

    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated romantic comedy. Much of the film's humor revolves around what most would consider animal abuse in any other venue and involves a dog being tossed, thrown and taking a ride in a running clothes dryer. Other, more crude humor includes a person sorting through a huge amount of dog excrement -- some of which they get on their face -- while looking for a missing ring.

    Sexually related humor is also present and we see a man's bare butt (twice, once during the film and again during the out-takes at the end) and most of a woman's in her thong-like bottom. Profanity is moderate due to 5 uses of the "s" word, along with other profanities and phrases.

    Some drinking and slapstick style violence (along with the dog-related material) also occurs. Beyond some stereotypical bad attitudes, the remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. Since some teens may want to see this film, however, you might consider more closely examining the listed content should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness.

  • People have wine in Dylan's restaurant.
  • Dylan's elderly, strip poker playing neighbors ask if he wants to join them for a drink.
  • Dylan shows up at Lila's door with pizza and wine. Later, we see him, Mark and his wife drinking that wine.
  • A drug joke is suggested by our seeing Jack's hallucinating point of view of Dylan after eating too many (or the wrong combination of) human foods.
  • People have drinks (wine, cocktails, etc...) at a big birthday bash.
  • A person has a drink on an airplane.
  • Reacting to one of his worker's bad breath, Dylan asks him "How was that sh*t sandwich?"
  • We hear an older woman fart.
  • Dylan briefly mentions that he had a bed-wetting problem when he was a kid and thus put Rice Crispies around his bed so that if he heard snapping, crackling and popping, he would know to get up.
  • Thinking that Jack has eaten Mark's anniversary ring, Dylan follows him in the park and then spots him and other dogs defecating (and we hear farting sounds). We then see Dylan dragging a heavy garbage bag from the park. Moments later, we see a gloved Wally going through the dog excrement that now covers Dylan's bathroom floor on some newspaper. We also see that Wally has some on his face and then rubs some more there when Dylan points out the first instance of it.
  • Dylan tells Jack that the leading cause of dog tartar is "eating your own poop."
  • Seeing and smelling Wally coming from his bathroom, Dylan asks him, "Why do you have to wait to get to my house to throw down a big Stanley Steamer?"
  • René has both for fooling around with other woman when dating Lila (none of which we see) and then for not accepting her refusal to see him anymore. He also plots to ruin Dylan's plan to have her fall for him.
  • Dylan has some of both for kidnaping Lila's dog so that he can look like the hero upon returning him.
  • Some viewers may find the film having both for trying to elicit laughs from what would otherwise be called animal abuse when viewed apart from a movie (tossing or dropping a dog, having it accidently ride in a clothes dryer, accidently tossing a goldfish into the air that lands in the dog's mouth that he then eats, etc...).
  • The same holds true for two scenes that try to get laughs with the use of accusations of child molestation by a young boy to enact revenge upon those he doesn't like.
  • In front of her, a loan manager says about Lila, "She hot!"
  • None.
  • Dylan lights a cigarette with a pistol-shaped lighter.
  • Rifle: Briefly seen in the video for "Old Yeller" where the mom gets it, but the boy takes it from her and shoots his rabid dog (we don't see the impact, only the rifle being fired -- and see it many times as Dylan continually rewinds it to play that part).
  • Phrases: "C*ck blocker," "Dipsh*t," "Nuts" (for crazy and testicles), "Bitch," "Ass kicking," "I'm just talking out of my ass," "Kick ass," "Jerk," "Sucks," "Bastard," "Fag," "You suck," "Screw" (nonsexual) and "Piss me off."
  • Since the film elicits laughs by dropping, throwing or having Jack the dog ride in the clothes dryer (as well as Dylan kidnaping him), some kids might get the wrong idea about animal abuse. Likewise, Dylan also feeds Pepto Bismal to Jack for an upset stomach.
  • A young and obnoxious boy threatens to accuse Dylan of child molestation and later does just that to another character that gets the adult in trouble.
  • None.
  • A scene from the movie "Old Yeller" has a tiny bit of suspenseful music in it.
  • None.
  • At least 5 "s" words, 2 slang terms for male genitals ("c*ck" and "pr*ck"), 1 slang term for female genitals ("p*ssy" -- what a young girl calls Dylan), 6 asses, 4 craps, 3 hells, 2 damns, and 9 uses of "Oh my God," 2 of "God" and 1 use each of "Jesus," "My God," "Good God" and "God forsaken" as exclamations.
  • As Dylan practices his break up speech for his current girlfriend, he mentions "Sex. The pointless conversations before sex." When she then breaks up with him, he asks, "What about the sex?" and she says that it didn't mean anything, and that even he said that himself. He then points out that he did so during the "weird half hour afterwards" when it's not important.
  • We then see that this now former girlfriend is a stripper/exotic dancer of some sorts and as she walks out of the room, we see most of her bare butt in her thong-like bottom and cowboy chaps. We also briefly see another skimpily clad stripper/dancer walk by.
  • Dylan looks through a Victoria's Secret catalogue and he (and we) briefly look at the buxom women modeling underwear and bras (and showing cleavage). He points to one of the models and says, "There's a bargain."
  • As Dylan reluctantly sits down to play a hand of strip poker with a quartet of elderly neighbors, one of them states "I'm no c*ck blocker" (referring to stopping him from pursuing Lila). We then see that he's down to his underwear after losing several hands, and then see him leave their apartment wearing only two aprons (across his front and back that do show the side of his bare butt). He then spies on Lila playing the cello through her window while dressed that way.
  • When Dylan greets a loan manager by saying, "How's it hanging?" the man replies, "Loose and full of juice."
  • After Dylan returns Jack to Lila and says that he found him way over on the pier, she says that Jack's a bad dog and that she should spank him, causing Dylan to add that he was way over on the pier as well.
  • When comparing his luck with Lila versus how René would describe it, Dylan says, "I've got the girl and you're whacking the bushes with cold beer and pizza" (could be meant literally as in "hitting" or in a sexual way).
  • We see the upper part of Wally's bare butt as his pants ride down on him.
  • We see both Dylan and Wally in boxer shorts (with the latter wearing Dylan's that he found in his clothes hamper). When Lila sees the two of them dressed that way and hears Wally say that he's going to make their bed, Lila gets the wrong impression that they're gay and later says, "I guess you didn't have any luck last night -- with Jack."
  • As René puts the moves on Lila (by caressing her feet and then shoulders) we see that only one button of her dress shirt is buttoned. René then unbuttons that and puts his hand inside her shirt, but she quickly stops him and gets up. She then goes into the bathroom to compose herself (even mentioning that he's a potential carrier of a venereal disease), and then comes back out to find him standing buck naked in front of her (we see this shot from behind him and thus see his bare butt in the foreground).
  • Lila shows a little bit of cleavage in a low-cut dress.
  • Acting like a fan at a concert, Dylan shouts to Lila, "Show us your boob." As she then sits down to play the cello, we get a brief glimpse up her sundress as she spreads her legs to put the cello there.
  • Wally tells Dylan that his uncle taught him to wrestle when he was seven, causing the nervous uncle to remind him of their little secret (an incest-related joke).
  • Seeing a "dog whisperer" about Jack, Dylan asks, "What do you want me to do? Lick his nuts?" When the dog barks, the man says, "Sounds like a resounding yes to me." The man then says "Just think of what would make you happy, and do it with him (the dog). Dylan smiles and the man says, "Not that!"
  • René makes a comment about Dylan wanting to "get inside her (Lila's) pants."
  • Lila tells Dylan, "You know what they say about cellists -- they do it in a chair with their legs spread wide."
  • During a music video that plays during the closing credits, we briefly see some women wearing skimpy bikinis that show cleavage.
  • During some out-takes during the closing credits we see another take of the scene from above where we see René's bare butt as he stands naked in front of Lila.
  • Dylan briefly smokes, but his girlfriend at the time walks in, tells him that he doesn't, and so he puts it out.
  • Wally's uncle holds an unlit pipe.
  • None.
  • The way Jack the dog is treated and the fact that the film tries to elicit laughs from that (which in other circles would be considered animal abuse).
  • Lila accidently runs into Dylan and knocks him over while chasing Jack.
  • Dylan suddenly drops Jack to the floor from several feet up in the air.
  • Hearing Lila at his door, Dylan flings Jack into his bathroom from several feet up in the air.
  • Dylan accidently elbows a young, but obnoxious boy in the face and knocks him out when trying to keep a cockatoo from biting his hand.
  • Trying to hide Jack from Lila in the laundry room, Dylan has the pooch in the non-running dryer. Trying be helpful, Lila puts some money in it and starts the dryer and we then hear the dog thumping around inside it. When she leaves, he quickly retrieves the dog (that's no worse for the wear).
  • In the video of "Old Yeller," we see a boy shoot his rabid dog with a rifle (but only see him shooting the rifle, and not the impact).
  • Driving to see a "dog whisperer" Wally and Dylan hit a bump and Jack (the dog) goes flying through the air and slams into the back seat, appearing to have been knocked silly/unconscious.
  • Doing his best Neil Diamond impression and really getting into the performance, Dylan tosses Millstone's wife backwards from the stage where she crashes onto and collapses her table.

  • Reviewed April 17, 1999 / Posted April 23, 1999

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