The Truth About Cats and Dogs - * * 1/2*

Nice romantic comedy that’s better than it should be due to the charisma of its stars. Janeane Garofalo stars as Dr. Abby Barnes, a veterinarian who hosts a radio talk show, titled The Truth About Cats and Dogs. Abby is self-conscious that she’s not a statuesque model, and as a result, when a caller (Ben Chaplin) invites her out, she lies about her appearance. When the caller, Brian, comes looking for her, she asks her beautiful neighbor, Noelle (Uma Thurman), to take her place. What follows is a Cyrano-esque comedy of mistaken identity. Most of the jokes are mildly entertaining, though Brian does seem a bit dull for not figuring out the ruse. The person solely responsible for making this film click is Garofalo. She captivates the viewer, and makes it interesting to watch, even when the script hits one of several lulls. Thurman looks beautiful, but isn’t required to show much range as the brain-light model. The screenplay tries to fudge the issue a bit, when Noelle makes a half-hearted bit for Brian’s affection herself, but it is obvious where the story is headed. If you’re looking for a light romantic comedy, this one pushes the right buttons, but doesn’t go much further.

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