In Hotel For Dogs Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin co-star as orphan siblings, Andi and Bruce, who’ve been bouncing between foster homes since their parents died. Now that they live with a pair of deluded, wannabe rock stars (Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon), they’ve been forced to hide their resourceful and perpetually hungry Jack Russell Terrier, Friday.
When the scruffy, white pooch runs off and Andi and Bruce follow him into an abandoned downtown hotel, they find a 160-pound bullmastiff and an energetic Boston terrier already living there. Suddenly, they get an idea: why not turn the rundown building (which just happens to have retained its electricity and antique furniture) into a full-time home for pups that have nowhere else to go—who are orphans just like them?!
So they start rescuing furry friends all over town, much to the frustration of the mean local dogcatchers. Then again, all the adults in Hotel for Dogs are cartoonishly aggressive, except for the kid’s social worker (Don Cheadle) and his wife.
But once you’ve set up all the humourously complex doggie-devices (like the car-door simulator that lets Rover pretend he’s riding through the country side), where do you go from there? The script runs out of steam once the hotel is up and running. Little kids might be entertained by the continual dog tricks, and the film’s ideas about loyalty and family, but even serious dog-lovers (like yours truly) might lose focus after the plot fizzles out.