Your fish is depressed, your tortoise won't look you in the eye, and the dog's careering about on roller-skates. Who you gonna call? Abby Barnes, that's who. Abby (Garofalo) is a radio pet-therapist, dispensing sound practical advice to distressed animals and owners alike. Abby is warm, funny and intelligent, but she's made for radio; men never give her a second glance. When a caller, Brian (Chaplin), asks her for a date, Abby panics, and sends her beautiful, dizzy neighbour Noelle (Thurman) in her stead. Heavy petting ensues. A pleasingly old-fashioned romantic comedy, this plays a mildly feminist variation on Cyrano de Bergerac, with Abby dishing out amorous advice and promptly regretting it, as Brian falls head over heels with the wrong woman - or rather, with her brains and Noelle's body. Granted, this misunderstanding is pretty silly, but it's a tribute to the cast that we don't lose patience with them. Garofalo, especially, is the cat's meow; in part, it's such an appealing performance because Abby is clearly her own worst enemy. It's a relief to come across a Hollywood comedy which doesn't talk down to the audience. Bravo to screenwriter Audrey Wells for her sophisticated script, and to director Lehmann, who gives the material a light, airy feel.
Cast and crew