Meet Chloe, the world’s most spoiled Chihuahua. Lest you worry about her dirtying her dainty feet on bare ground, she trots around in little custom-made booties. Her diamond collar is by Harry Winston. The sweater vest is pure cashmere.
Oh, and get this: She hates Berlin, even when she stays there in a five-star hotel.
Disney’s “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” isn’t exactly striving for cinematic greatness. It’s pretty much content when the mouths of the “talking” dogs come close to matching the dialogue. But even after a slow start, this silly kiddie flick turns out to have a little more pep than you might expect. It’s no doggie classic, but neither does it deserve a pooper scooper.
Chloe (voiced by a perky Drew Barrymore) belongs to a Beverly Hills socialite (Jamie Lee Curtis), who dotes upon her dog with all the sublimated maternal obsessiveness of a woman who can afford a $900-an-hour psychoanalyst. When the socialite goes on an extended business trip, she leaves the dog with her careless niece, Rachel (Piper Perabo), who promptly plans a weekend jaunt to Mexico.
You can see what’s coming: Chloe gets “dog-napped,” escapes from the bad guys and embarks, with the help of a few canine friends, on the long journey home.
The film is more successful when it gets good and goofy, including an amusing rat-and-iguana comic-caper combination and a visit to the “homeland” of all Chihuahuas.
And you can’t downplay the appeal of all those dogs. At the screening I attended, a young child in the audience called out the name of the hero German shepherd with affection. “Delgado!” he yelled. It was doggone touching.
MOVIE REVIEW | 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua’
Cast: The voices of Drew Barrymore, Andy Garcia and Cheech Marin
Behind the scenes: Directed by Raja Gosnell
Time: 90 minutes
Rated: PG (mild thematic elements)