This poster is very misleading, because the movie SHOULD have just been about a girl and her three cute as hell dogs. However, it’s still better than the alternate poster:
We open with Erika – Bailey Daly in the movie – showing up at a diner in a wet wedding dress. It’s pouring rain, and she’s toting three dogs with her. The diner owners, a married couple, bicker about whether to let her in – he says they’re closed EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE ARE STILL EATING INSIDE! – but the wife wins and Bailey gets to come in from the rain. In exchange for their kindness, they sit her down in a booth and force her to tell her story.
I have no idea when the flashbacks are to have begun. A year ago? Six months? It’s pretty foggy, so let’s just say a year. Bailey is a high school English teacher searching for Mr. Right, despite being unlucky in love. She’s undergone two major life changes in the last year: her beagle Howie passed away recently and she just bought her dream home. While she unpacks and complains about being alone, her teacher friend Amber reminds her that she just did an amazing thing by buying a house all by herself. She ignores this, and you will soon realize she has a terrible pattern of not listening to anyone’s good advice.
So, Bailey meets Wade, a new gym teacher at school. He’s super flirty with her (and kind of with Amber too) and sort of asks her out. It’s his first week of school, you don’t think he’d want to test the waters before jumping in head first? Anyway, she thinks he’s cute and athletic, so she’s into it.
That Sunday, she realizes she forgot papers at the school so she dashes off in a topknot and sweatpants to grab them. On her way back to the car, a big adorable golden retriever jumps on her. Wade runs up (he was doing laps on the track…) and introduces his dog Adam to Bailey. She’s smitten (with both). He asks her if she wants to go for a run then have dinner sometime. Instead of laughing hysterically in his face like I would, she accepts and says she loves running.
She’s 100% lying, and her mom later tells her to smarten up. But now we know that Bailey is an idiot and refuses to listen to the truth.
Bailey and Wade have their dumb running date, and he asks her, “Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you look when you’re exhausted?” Several red flags: he’s super eager to meet her mom after the first date and he drives a neon green Jeep.
Her mom meets Wade and Adam, the latter of which jumps up on her and starts licking her neck. She literally says that he’s a good kisser (ew) and Wade says that he taught him everything he knows! WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!!!
For their next date, he wants them to go for a 5K charity run. This guy is the worst. Amber is skeptical about the whole thing, but Bailey brushes it off and says yes to the date.
During the race, he’s hurrying her along because he wants to win. She twists her ankle! He helps her off the course and then asks if he can finish the race without her. She’s like, umm I guess so…and then he totally flirts with the female medic that’s helping her.
One Friday night, he rudely shows up at her door, asking her to watch Adam while he leaves for a guy’s bachelor weekend. She’s spineless and accepts. That weekend, she and her mom go for a walk with Adam and end up stopping by at a pet store; they’re having a dog adoption event that day, and Bailey LOVES dogs.
She meets Cole, the pet store owner. She introduces Adam as her boyfriend’s dog (Cole visibly deflates a little when she says this), but they bond over their love of all dogs anyway.
Later, she confides to Adam that she likes “his dad” but that he always seems to be looking elsewhere for something, or someone, better. But sure, keep dating the guy. Adam has no opinion on the matter.
When Wade shows up to school that Monday, Bailey is pissed at him for ignoring her texts (that she signed off with “xoxo Adam”, by the way) all weekend. He apologizes to her and they make plans to go to some house party. At said party, he forces her to dance with him to EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE. And not the Puff Daddy/Faith Evans version! They’re fast dancing for some reason, and then she re-injures her ankle and asks him to get her ice. He gets a little sidetracked by a pretty brunette named Suzie instead. Bailey’s fuming on the other side of the room and limps over to confront him. He thinks she’s overreacting, she thinks he’s a player. They break up, I guess. Out of nowhere, Cole (pet store guy) pops up with a frozen bag of peas for her ankle. She bitches about Wade to him and he’s like, ready to propose that very second.
ONE MONTH LATER, Wade shows up with Adam on Bailey’s doorstep. He’s moving to Seattle with Suzie (!), and his new place doesn’t allow pets. He literally just gives her his dog and leaves forever.
Awhile later, Amber invites her to an art gallery. Bailey meets an English guy wearing a black turtleneck and a scarf, so automatically she’s intrigued and I’m grossed out. His name is Jonathan and he’s a playwright that talks about Proust and jazz. Kill me. She lies about loving both of those things, and so he asks her out.
But she’s a liar, because she doesn’t love Proust or jazz. When she tells her mom about this, her mom’s like, you’re a dumbass for lying, just be yourself.
After their date, she shows him her brand new jazz record collection and introduces him to Adam. They talk more about Proust and jazz and then make out. Much later, she invites him to her traditional Sunday family dinner with her mom, Amber, and Amber’s boyfriend Travis.
At dinner, they find out he’s a vegetarian (Hallmark and Lifetime are super judgy about their definition of Mr. Right, and their food choices are almost always a factor), sensitive about his new play, and dislikes American football. Burn him at the stake! Redeeming quality: he has a dalmatian named Eve (get it?).
Bailey’s mom thinks he’s too serious and complicated. Bailey thinks he’s just an Artiste, so she goes to the live stage read of his play, Suffer Time. It’s terrible and morose and nobody seems to like it. She’s supportive though, which is nice, and he takes her advice about editing it to make it better.
This all backfires on her now though, because right when she’s done cooking a dairy-free soup for dinner, he’s on a hot streak of editing and can’t lose his concentration! She just hangs out with Adam and Eve instead. I’m not 100% on either side here, but maybe don’t judge your boyfriend’s work, advise him to fix it, and then be put out when the fixing occurs at an inconvenient time?
Bailey takes Adam to the pet store. She bumps into Cole again, and explains why she now owns Adam. Just as his hopes begin to lift at the idea of her being single, she mentions that she’s dating Jonathan. Pet store guy doesn’t need to know your love life, dude!
Right as Bailey is leaving for a birthday party, Jonathan shows up with his newly finished play and wants her to read it ASAP. They argue about his demand, which quickly turns into a very neat and tidy fight about why he’s not good for her, and so they break up.
But sometime later, Jonathan shows up on her doorstep with Eve in hand. Apparently, Eve misses her a lot and so he asks Bailey if she can take Eve in “just to get her back to her old self.” Um, it doesn’t work like that. Not even a little bit.
Amber and Bailey go for a yoga session. Some dude shows up late and starts flirting with Bailey right out of the gate. He loves golf! And now, too, does Bailey. Amber’s like, are you shitting me with this again. This guy, Eric, asks her out for a round of golf. She can’t just admit to a man that she isn’t interested in HIS main interest, so she happily says yes.
On their golf date, he shows her proper form and touches her a lot. When she asks what he does, he says he’s in retail. Oh, they’re done golfing, so now their date is over. These are two grown humans in their thirties – you would at LEAST get lunch or drinks afterwards unless you hated one another so much that you didn’t want to continue the date. Ugh.
Her mom is running on repeat with a healthy dose of skepticism. Oh, we find out that “retail” means he’s heir to a massive company of high-end fashion stores. Her mom’s like, but does he like dogs, Bailey!
So, this is just Must Love Dogs, but even worse.
As it turns out, Eric is not a dog person. She takes him for a walk with Adam and Eve so he can get acclimated to them anyway. When Adam jumps up on him to lick his neck, Eric says that Adam’s a good kisser. Why does everyone keep saying that!!! The two humans kiss.
Bailey takes Eric to a pet store so he can pick out a dog, even though he definitely doesn’t want one. Cole, by the way, is pumped to meet Eve (he’s heard all about her, I guess?). He presumes that Eric is Jonathan, so Bailey has to correct him, embarrassed. Anyway, Eric is more interested in a purebred than a mutt (classic rich guy, am I right) and Cole’s not impressed, but mentions they get the odd purebred in the store now and again.
Oh good, now she gets to meet his family at their traditional Sunday brunch at the country club. Excellent. At the brunch, the whole fam is basically grossed out by Bailey and her commoner life. They sniff at her parents’ modest jobs and that she works in a PUBLIC SCHOOL.
He’s not really deterred by this, because he tells her he loves her and then shows her a house he wants to buy with her? For her? I don’t know, but it’s a gorgeous log cabin and I want it all for myself.
Check in with her mom: not buying any of this shit.
Cole texts Bailey to let her know two purebreds just came in. When they show up, Eric shows his hand – he really didn’t want a dog at all. Bailey is super disappointed about this, as this is the last thing that would have made him Mr. Right.
One night, he gathers his family and her mom together. He comes out with a little lapdog that he bought as a surprise for her (and himself, I guess). Eric had his mom pick out the dog for its showdog skills and good breeding (Bailey is less than impressed by this). Its name…is Balthazar’s Imperial Bell. Or something like that, I have no idea what that means and Google isn’t helpful in the slightest. Obviously, Bailey wants to change that. She picks the name Shirley. Everyone loves it, except Grandma who’s like, THAT’S MY LATE SISTER’S NAME. Bailey’s mom totally dismisses this to say it’s a great honour for her legacy then.
Eric proposes. She says yes. Wedding planning starts right away, and it goes fast. I have no idea how much time is lapsing between scenes either.
But he’s all wrong for her because he wants her to wear Grandma’s ruby earrings on the wedding day, rather than the pearls her deceased father gave her as a child.
Later, they’re literally arranging the seating chart on a windy day in the park with their dogs, who are just running around without leashes. This entire scene stressed me out. When he begins to show her his entire wedding checklist and timeline (pretty normal stuff, like the DJ and photographer), she starts to freak out. She says it “takes the surprise out of it.” IT’S A WEDDING. Planning is literally 95% of it, and the remaining 5% is the actual day.
If it wasn’t obvious before, the dogs represent her boyfriends: Adam is flirty and wild like Wade, Eve is moody and sensitive like Jonathan, and Shirley is high-bred and well-behaved like Eric.
Eric starts to get upset at Adam and Eve running free, and compares them to Shirley. A dim lightbulb flickers over Bailey’s head as she rhetorically asks, “You don’t like dogs, do you?” HE HAS LITERALLY BEEN TELLING YOU THAT FROM THE BEGINNING.
Not only has she acted very much like her two exes here, she’s actually worse because at least Eric was honest about his dog-indifference from the get go and she just refused to accept or believe it. UGH! Bailey leaves with all three dogs. Oh, this also means the wedding is off.
Later, she takes the dogs on a walk and runs into Cole who, after hearing her predicament, advises that he would try to make it work for someone that would get a dog for him. This is halfway decent advice, and it’s the ONLY ADVICE SHE EVER TAKES.
Just in time for Eric to shows up at her door with flowers and an apology. He may not love dogs as much as she does, but he loves her very much. The wedding is back on, but then seconds later when they begin talking shop and disagreeing about stuff, she gets that cagey look in her eye.
On the morning of the wedding, her dress feels too tight and suffocating. (See: Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy acting the shit out of this feeling.) She gets emotional about her dead father, and then asks her dogs if Eric is her soulmate. Dude.
Well, he’s not and she literally ditches him up on the altar. Which brings us to today, where she’s still explaining her stupid story to the diner owners, who make out in front of her after reminiscing about their marriage.
This leads me to believe these two just lied about closing the diner, because they’re never seen helping the last dregs of customers!
ESPECIALLY BECAUSE COLE HAS BEEN IN THE DINER THE ENTIRE TIME!!! He pipes in with “Good story,” super casual about eavesdropping! He has just been listening in on her whole story and she never noticed. The diner owners are like, oh yeah, he’s here every night reading! When Bailey asks why he never spoke up, he said he liked listening to the sound of her voice. GET ME OUT OF THIS MOVIE!
Cole confesses that he’s had a huge crush on her for a long time. She asks why he never made a move, and he’s like, dude you’ve literally been dating or dumping someone for the past year… He tells her that he thinks she’s great just as she is. (See: Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones).
They leave the diner together with the doggies, and he mentions he wants her to meet his new beagle (like Howie, her dead dog from the beginning)!
I mean, this movie is just so, so lazy. Cole is supposed to be her Mr. Right because she never has to try to be anything other than herself around him, but it also means she never had to actively learn the art of healthy compromise in relationships. This movie predicates itself on the assumption that you can’t seemingly forge a relationship when your interests in superficial things are different, when it’s almost exclusively the fundamental differences that drive two people apart. Do they believe in marriage? Do they want kids? How will you raise the kids? How do they handle stressful situations? If you are basing your relationships on whether they like A and you like Z, buddy you are going to find yourself on a string of failed relationships.
The men Bailey dated were nothing but honest with her about their interests and traits. She was the only one being duplicitous, in order for them to like her, and then she dumped them for simply being themselves!
I order Bailey to take several self-confidence classes instead of hopping into a new relationship fresh off twice-cancelled wedding!
Top IMDb Comment:
Way overdone on the makeup. Too too much blush. Distracting and so unnatural.
2 thoughts on “Recap: My Boyfriends’ Dogs (2014)”
Thank you so much for this detailed summary. I have been sitting through a Spanish dubbed version with minimal understanding, unable to comprehend why ex boyfriends would keep giving her their dogs. This read has been undoubtably more enjoyable than the movie!
I’ll echo Samantha’s comment that your summary is undoubtedly more enjoyable than the movie itself. I was just cracking up. Thanks!