Garfield: The Movie

Garfield: The Movie


Reviewed by: The Dude

Everyone's favourite comic strip fat cat has finally made that fateful jump from paper to screen, though it might have been better for everyone involved if he'd just stayed where he was.

The story goes typically like this: Jon (Breckin Meyer) is in love with his vet, Liz Wilson (Jennifer Love Hewitt), and uses the "real" man in charge, Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray), as a regular excuse to visit her at the clinic. When Liz talks Jon into taking an orphaned puppy, called Odie, into his home, the requisite slapstick turf war ensues, replete with sarcastic commentary from Garfield - thank God, Odie doesn't utter.

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When a dog show gone awry results in Odie getting a blue ribbon and the attention of local TV presenter Happy Chapman (Stephen Tobolowsky), Garfield's jealousy boils over and leads to the poor pooch being dognapped by the opportunistically evil Chapman. It is only then that Garfield grows a conscience, gets off his chair and tries to save Odie, while Jon and Liz run around after the animals, falling in love.

Meyer and Love Hewitt's performances are forgettable at best, although Alan Cumming's contribution, as the voice of the classically trained cat, Persnickity, is entertaining. A mainstream effort is made to try to get older members of the audience to laugh (see references to the "Po Po" and Jerry McGuire), but most of the comedy is slapstick and will be entertaining for kids and those easily amused - there is a brilliant dance sequence between Garfield and Odie.

Although there are some genuinely funny moments and the slapstick does work, Garfield's overuse of sarcastic/contemporary catchphrases tends to wear thin and parents may find themselves grateful for the short running time. It's nice to know that so many companies are interested in the consumerist health of the intended young audience, as the movie appears to be an elongated product placement, from Wendy's to Red Lobster and Ferrari to Frosted Flakes.

All in all, the kids will love it, but don't take someone if you're trying to impress them with your cinematic taste.

Reviewed on: 30 Jul 2004
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Garfield: The Movie packshot
Lazy strip cartoon cat is put out of joint by the arrival of an orphan puppy.
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Read more Garfield: The Movie reviews:

Stephanie Wolfe Murray ****

Director: Peter Hewitt

Writer: Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, based on the comic strip by Jim Davis

Starring: Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Stephen Tobolowsky, Evan Arnold, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Vanessa Christelle, the voice of Bill Murray

Year: 2004

Runtime: 80 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US


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Garfield: A Tail Of Two Kitties