Released Year: 2009
Directed by Thor Freudenthal
Jake T. Austin as Bruce
Emma Roberts as Andi
Johnny Simmons as Dave
Troy Gentile as Mark
Kyla Pratt as Heather
Don Cheadle as Bernie Wilkins
Lisa Kudrow as Lois Scudder
Kevin Dillon as Carl Scudder
While in Central City, Louisiana, orphans Andi and Bruce manage to sell a rock in a box to a pawn shop for twenty-seven dollars and buy some burgers, in order to feed their dog, Friday, a Jack Russell Terrier. However, they are quickly caught and marched off to the police station, where their social worker, Bernie Wilkins picks them up and takes them back to their foster parents, Lois and Carl Scudder, who appear not to care for either Andi or Bruce. When the two demand to know where their foster children have been, Bernie covers for them, telling them that it was his fault they were late. Despite his sympathies towards the two siblings, he warns them that they are playing a dangerous game by deliberately getting into trouble in order to escape Carl and Lois, since they could get fostered separately, something that both orphans are desperate to avoid. During Bernie's visit, Friday returns home and Bruce quickly bustles Bernie out of the door, since Friday's presence is to be kept secret.
The next morning, Andi and Bruce are horrified to find that Friday has snuck inside and is dangerously close to Lois discovering him. After a close call, Andi and Bruce rush Friday back to their bedroom, where Friday promptly goes looking for food again, only to be caught by Animal Control. Sick with worry, Andi and Bruce go into a local pet shop to ask if anybody has seen him; there, they meet Dave, and Heather, who advise them to check the Pound. Upon learning that Friday is indeed in the Pound but they cannot claim him unless their parents are there, Andi pays for Friday's return instead and suggests to Bruce that they find Friday a new home, since he deserves a real home with a real family. Whilst walking home, they find a gang of youths having stolen a ghetto-blaster radio, only to flee when the police arrive. But since Andi and Bruce are the only ones left at the scene, they try to outrun the police and manage to hide in a nearby abandoned hotel formerly known as "Hotel Francis Duke". Whilst looking for Friday, who had curiously begun to explore the hotel, they find a tiny Boston Terrier and an English Mastiff, whom they later name Georgia and Lenny, respectively. Confident that the three dogs are getting along, Andi and Bruce leave Friday at the hotel for the night.
The next morning, Andi and Bruce quickly return to the hotel to feed the dogs and to stop Lenny from getting caught due to howling because of lack of the city's view, with Andi warning her younger brother to not get too attached to the two stray dogs after naming them. Whilst Bruce stays at the hotel to keep the dogs quiet and creates a machine that allows them to play 'Fetch' whenever they like, Andi heads to the pet shop to get some food for the strays, claiming that her parents rescue dogs, prompting Dave to ask her to take in three more dogs - Shep: a Border Collie with herding issues, Romeo: a shy Chinese Crested Dog seeking romance, and Cooper: a British Bulldog with the ability to chew through anything (including a license plate) - who nobody seems to want to adopt since they aren't puppies anymore. Andi begrudgingly agrees. Upon arriving at the hotel, Dave and Heather immediately agree to help the two siblings out. With six dogs to now look after, the friends set about trying to get the hotel in a decent enough state to suit the dogs' needs, including building running machines, automatic feeders, modified lavatories, and a car simulator. Whilst they're working, a local boy named Mark offers his assistance. When Bruce brings in another dog: a Beauceron he found scrounging for food in a junkyard and which he named Henry, the group finally decides to set out and rescue more stray dogs from dog catchers, abusive owners, abandonment, certain death, former poor homes, bad conditions, and other types of bad situations. Soon, more strays begin to occupy the hotel. One of them, a white French Poodle, becomes Romeo's new love interest and is therefore named Juliet afterwards.
Back at the Scudder's household, Bernie eagerly tells them of a couple of new foster parents he's found for Andi and Bruce. However, their new foster parents live 3 hours away so, the two turn the offer down in order to continue looking after the dogs, much to Bernie's bewilderment. Whilst thinking over her decision, Dave invites Andi to a party and she happily accepts; Mark, meanwhile, makes various efforts to gain Heather's attention. Whilst everyone else is at the party, Bruce is caught stealing a hairdryer from Lois and is immediately interrogated by his foster parents; meanwhile, Andi bumps into an old acquaintance named Jason, who accidentally notifies everyone that Andi is an orphan living with the Scudders in the same building his grandmother lives in. After an accident with some Punch, Andi leaves in shame and embarrassment and Dave follows her. Bruce manages to escape his house, only to find the hotel in a bad state due to an automatic feeder malfunction and a dogfight over a bone, then, Andi arrives; Lois and Carl follow him and the police are called - the dogs are quickly caught and sent to the Pound, while Bruce and Andi are taken away by officers Mike and Jeff. When Lois and Carl refuse to take Andi and Bruce back, Bernie has no choice but to send them to separate foster homes.
With all of the dogs to be put down the next day, Friday manages to escape his captivity and rushes over to find Dave, Heather, and Mark, who in turn find Andi. They all hurry over to find Bruce. Meanwhile, Bernie decides to look around the hotel, where he finds a Beagle named Harley who managed to avoid capture and marvels at the creations Bruce made, thus, begins to see why the kids loved doing what they did so much. Andi and Bruce manage to break into the Pound and release the dogs, where Bruce entices the horde of dogs to follow Dave's van through the city with sausages to a city limit where they can't be harmed while Mark stays behind to fight and hold off one of the dog catchers, who was trying to take Heather away to jail when he spotted her helping the siblings with their plan to rescue the dogs. The strange event attracts the attention of everyone in the city, including the police, who follow the dogs to the hotel after Friday leads them back when they realize that the hotel is their true home, where Bernie is waiting. With a large crowd gathered outside and before the cops try to take away the kids and the dog catchers try to capture the dogs again, Bernie shows up and tells the crowd a heartfelt speech about how Bruce, Andi, and everyone else managed to create a family of dogs and lists the names of the dogs and their former backstories (before being rescued) written in the hotel's old reception book by Bruce, who live at the hotel; winning the public's hearts, including the cops as well. The dog catchers are then called off, the pound is supposedly shut down, and the police, who always kept a close eye on the kids, allow to keep the dogs together.
As people eagerly explore the hotel and after Andi and Dave share a kiss, Bernie reveals to an overjoyed Andi and Bruce that despite not being able to find new foster parents, he and his wife Carol have decided to adopt them. Mark, having returned to the hotel, finally wins Heather's affections as he gratefully receives a kiss on the cheek by her as part of a baby step. A few months later, the hotel re-opens as a grand "Hotel For Dogs", where people can either adopt strays or board their dogs. Dave is made the new hotel manager while Heather is the new hotel guide. Lenny and Georgia (having supposedly pursued a romantic relationship with Henry) are a few of the dogs working as porters while Cooper works in the recycle bin as he chews off everything recyclable. The hotel also includes a nursery and care center, an adoption center, a beauty salon, and a spa. Although Lois and Carl are invited to provide the entertainment for the "Hound Lounge", the dogs quickly grow bored with their act and the two are supposedly sent offstage in disgrace. Meanwhile, Andi, Bruce, and Friday begin to happily settle into their new family as they have a barbecue lunch with their new foster parents on the hotel's terrace.
L² Scored: 5/10
A movie that is based on Lois Duncan's novel of the same name. For me the movie is not bad, but nothing too excited about it. Beside watching the cute dogs performs smartly in these films, the kids in the films has contribute nothing much to increase the scoring for me.