Movie Review: Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)

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Piper Perabo and Jamie Lee Curtis in Beverly Hills Chihuahua. The dog featured is named Chloe and is voiced by Drew Barrymore.
Photo: Walt Disney Pictures

I debated on whether or not to write an entirely satirical review for this movie because it doesn’t deserve much more. I was going to go on and on at how illogical this flick is because dogs can’t talk and how the whole film is ridiculous because of it. It would have been fun, but even the satire runs out and there is little to talk about.

As it turns out Beverly Hills Chihuahua is just an awful film and there is no way around it. It is an awful film that realizes it is an awful film and even when it tries to poke fun at how awful it is it falls flat. I am not one of those reviewers that says, “Oh, it’s a kid’s film therefore it’s okay that it is dumb.” Nope, if a movie is dumb, it is dumb, its target audience doesn’t make it any better.

The story follows a pampered Chihuahua named Chloe (Drew Barrymore) as she gets lost in Mexico, on the run from a band of dogfighters, aided by a German Shepherd (Andy Garcia) and ultimately being sought after by two humans (Piper Perabo, Manolo Cardona) and another Chihuahua named Papi (George Lopez).

Half-baked jokes continually fall flat and the story wasn’t cute enough or interesting enough to ever get me involved. Piper Perabo’s career is certainly on the skids and when Jamie Lee Curtis isn’t shilling yogurt that helps you poop she has apparently found her calling as an uptight snobby Beverly Hills resident, but that is not to say she adds anything to the feature thanks to what amounts to about 5 minutes of screen time.

I am not above saying Beverly Hills Chihuahua is actually a decent idea. It’s entirely absurd, but anyone genuinely interested in being entertained must be willing to give the absurd a chance. However, the absurd must also be willing to commit to itself. The moments when Beverly Hills Chihuahua realizes it is pushing the stupid bar to unimaginable heights it often goes to a song to bring the audience back and ask you to laugh, unfortunately it isn’t funny. Actually, it comes off as serious and just doesn’t work at all and makes the film that much worse.

I chuckled a few times during the film (you would have to be dead not to), but I couldn’t tell you exactly where, and I don’t really care. I had heard rumblings Beverly Hills Chihuahua was actually a pretty good film and it’s the reason I was willing to give it a chance, and if it turned out to be awful those reviews are typically easy to write. Instead, this film turns out to be a letdown to the point that it services disappointment more than any other emotion even though I wanted to run out of the theater only 15 minutes in as I realized just what I had gotten myself into.

GRADE: D-