Every Dog has its Day
Returning home to Rockton for the funeral of her mother Lisa Rayborn (Natasha Henstridge) has discovered some things have changed especially on the family farm as her brother Jim (Harry Hamlin) tries to breed sheep much to her father Clay's (Lawrence Dane) annoyance as he is a cattle farmer through and through. But with times hard and a cloud of depression hanging over the Rayborn property Lisa sets about changing things, starting with buying a sheepdog which she calls Lucky a move which only ends up annoying her father even more.
"You Lucky Dog", also known as "Family Gathering", is what I call a good mood movie, the sort where you need to be in a good mood to enjoy all the sentimental and cliche charm. And trust me you certainly need to be in a good mood because "You Lucky Dog" contains so many TV movie cliches it's quite staggering. We start with the familiar base level which sees city girl Lisa returning to the family farm in the small town where times are hard and with the recent death of her mum her father is struggling. That there contains several daytime movie cliches but then we have a layer of secrets, Lisa is hiding something as to why she has decided to stay and her father Clay is also harbouring a secret. Then you have a layer of romance as Lisa and local vet Doug get friendly and just for an added measure we have a sheepdog doing some Lassie style heroics.
But the thing about "You Lucky Dog" and this storyline built up of cliches is that whilst it creates this heart warming tale of family bonding and community spirit you have to be in the right frame of mind to start with. If you are in the least bit feeling cynical or cheesed off you will likely end up ripping it to shreds as the one soft, heart-warming, over sweet cliche after another starts to grate. But then if you are in the right mood, well it will be a charming, wholesome and heart warming experience which manages to tug at your heart strings.
As such it would be a lie to say that "You Lucky Dog" is full of great acting because it isn't but the trio of Natasha Henstridge, Harry Hamlin and Lawrence Dane work well together as the Rayborn family. Their characters maybe cliche, their emotions maybe text book but there is something nice about the way they interact as a family. But the truth of the matter is that it is the dog which plays Lucky which ends up being the star of the movie as it has the most character.
What this all boils down to is that "You Lucky Dog" is not only what you expect from a heart warming TV movie but it also includes many elements which you will find in other TV movies. It does work, it is a pleasant heart warming little movie which if you are in the right mood to watch you might even love.
Tags: Dog Movies