SEE SPOT RUN
In See Spot Run, we have several characters trying to make sense or gain control of their lives. But, no matter how many rules you try to follow; how good you try to be; it is never enough.
REVIEW BY BETTY HAMM


(2001)


This page was created on March 5, 2001
This page was last updated on May 16, 2005

Directed by John Whitesell
Screenplay: George Gallo, Dan Baron & Christian Faber
Story: Stuart Gibbs, Craig Titley and George Gallo
Writing credits Stuart Gibbs (story) Craig Titley

David Arquette .... Gordon Smith
Angus T. Jones .... James
Anthony Anderson .... Benny Michael
Clarke Duncan .... Agent Murdoch
Leslie Bibb .... Stephanie
Constance Marie .... The Neighbor
Steve Schirripa .... Arliss Santino
Paul Sorvino .... Sonny Talia
Joe Viterelli .... Gino Valente

Produced by Bruce Berman (executive), Andrew Deane (executive), John Peter Kousakis (co-producer), Michael Miller (executive), Ira Shuman (co-producer), Robert Simonds, Tracey Trench (executive)

Original music by John Debney
Cinematography by John S. Bartley
Film Editing by Cara Silverman

Rated PG for crude humor, language and comic violence.




The Smart One Isn't Wearing Any Pants.

SYNOPSIS:
Click to enlargeGordon Smith, (Arquette) is an offbeat mailman who has never met a dog he couldn't handle. When he offers to baby-sit James (Jones), the young son of his beautiful neighbor Stephanie (Bibb), he's hoping she'll return his romantic interest. A hard working single mom, Stephanie thinks Gordon is just an overgrown kid himself but circumstances force her to leave James with him, temporarily, while she is away business.

Click to enlargeMeanwhile in another part of town, an FBI agent named Murdoch (Clarke Duncan), is trying desperately to find his runaway canine partner, Agent Eleven (Bob) who has escaped from protective custody. Thanks to the super dog's drug detecting abilities, he has incurred the wrath of local mobster kingpin Sonny Talia (Sorvino) who has put out a contract on the four footed fed.Click to enlarge Luckily, Agent Eleven is a lot faster and smarter than Talia's two inept henchmen Gino (Viterelli) and Arliss (Schirripa), so they aren't having much luck. They lose the trail completely when the dog seeks refuge in Gordon's mail truck, where he is promptly adopted by James, who names him "Spot."

Click to enlargeGordon is not exactly a dog lover, especially after having to use his ingenuity to fight off the mailman-hating mutts on his harrowing Bleeker St. postal route. Armed with a variety of ingenuous devices, Gordon enters the combat zone and emerges victorious, if not exactly unscathed. Back at the post office, his colleague and good buddy Benny (Anderson) is always ready to commiserate and offer advice to Gordon about his job and his love life.

Click to enlargeMeanwhile, Stephanie is having her own set of unbelievable adventures trying to get back home, thanks to a freak snowstorm. Spot appears to be nothing but trouble so Gordon tries to persuade Angus to give him up. Instead he finds both the kid and the pooch beginning to grow on him. When the mobsters catch up to them at the local pet store, all heck breaks lose. As the fur, fish and feathers start to fly, Spot finally gets to show his true colors. By the time Stephanie returns home to find her son and Gordon remarkably transformed, Agent Murdoch has shown up to reclaim his dog. The final decision is up to Spot but the lives he has touched will never be the same.

 

Our Life is a Fragrance
We Leave on Others

REVIEW BY BETTY HAMM
bhamm@efcn.org
Arts Director
Evangelical Free Church,
Naperville Il (630)983-3232
http://www.efcn.org

Click to enlargeBleeker Street: every postal worker's worst nightmare. Enter Gordon, a mailman with a mission - to deliver his route and defeat the enemy: the dogs. Gordon is an offbeat, wacky guy who is more than out of the box - he doesn't appear to be aware that a box exists. Click to enlargeHe straps on commando type gear to outwit the dogs. He has studied his enemy; he knows their weaknesses. What is Gordon's weakness? Besides having a strong attraction to the beautiful, blond, single mom in his apartment building, Gordon does not understand family. It appears Gordon has never experienced family; that has left him emotionally handicapped. Enter James, the young son of Stephanie, the gorgeous blond. Click to enlargeGordon helps Stephanie out of a very difficult situation by offering to baby-sit for what he believes will be a few short minutes. Of course, due to a series of farcical events Gordon and James are stuck with each other for several days. Tyson also quickly enters the picture. Tyson is an FBI dog that has a mafia contract on his life. His entrance into the witness protection plan turns sour and Tyson must fend for himself. He goes undercover by attaching himself to James and Gordon.

Click to enlargeIn See Spot Run, we have several characters trying to make sense or gain control of their lives. Gordon tries to keep his life safe by avoiding serious commitments. You also sense that Gordon has never been able to measure up to other people's standards, so as an adult he no longer tries. Stephanie tries very hard to protect her son James from the dangers of life. We do not know who or where James? biological father is. Click to enlargeStephanie struggles to be all things for James and her safety net for him is built around rigid scheduling and rules. Tyson becomes the catalyst to breaking down everyone's self-imposed isolation.

There are some wonderful themes and insights in the script. Oddly enough, most of the truly insightful philosophies come from Gordon.

?Marriage is a big step. You really got to know someone before you do that.?

?Don't get attached to things. It only winds up messing with you.?

?You do the crime; you do the time.?

Click to enlargeJames overhears Gordon say he doesn't need a kid in his life. Deeply hurt, James runs off. Gordon panics and shouts ?My kid! I lost my kid!? When James confronts Gordon on not needing a kid in his life. Gordon?s response is: ?Sometimes when people get scared, it comes out all messed up.?

I believe this farcical comedy rings with human truth. We all have a deep desire to be accepted and loved for who we are in spite of our glaring shortcomings. Fear causes us to do some truly stupid and at times irreparable things. Click to enlargeSo what is God's response? He knows you have done some really bad things? (Romans 3:23) He also knows there is no way you can reach Him on your own. (Romans 6:23) No matter how many rules you try to follow; how good you try to be; it is never enough. (Romans 3:20) And yet God makes it possible for us to become part of His family. (Romans 5:8) As part of His family, we no longer need to worry about measuring up. He has set us free. (Romans 8:1-2)

PHOTO GALLERY
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ROLLIN IN THE CRAP
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001
From: "x"

The problem with See Spot Run is it's inability to avoid the crap of creating basic lame female characters. The movie would have been so good if the film-makers had written some intelligent, normal looking female characters, instead of the skinny, big-boobed, mindless women who are in this film. The female cop is skinny, and weak-looking, but has enormous breasts. How did she ever become an FBI agent? And the single-mom character is just another excuse to have a "dumb-blond" for the typically lame, clumsy guy to fall-in love with and eventually get together with. To add insult to injury, the film-makers throw mud, fire, and gas at this female character. Why can't more films create normal female characters that the audience can relate to, instead of creating models as real people who no one can relate except models? For a real good movie that has dogs in it, I recommend "The truth about cats and dogs." Now there is a film which can explain the problem with the female characters in See Spot Run far better than I have just tried to do.

Response: So... David Arquette and Clarke Duncan portrayed real men? I don't think so. Keep in mind it is a farce. The situations portrayed are not real. --Betty

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