HOLLYWOOD—I cannot recall the last time I felt my stomach hurt from laughing so hard at a movie. Comedy is not my preferred genre when it comes to cinema. It truly takes a lot to get me to laugh, as I’m not the biggest fan of crude humor. Jokes tend to make me laugh much more than anything else. A little birdie mentioned to me a flick about dogs that happened to be R-rated. My first question was, what is it about? The person told me just watch the movie; you’ll thank me later.
I did indeed thank that person later because “Strays” had me in absolute stitches. Let me warn the parents right now; THIS MOVIE IS ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR KIDS! The number of F-bombs that come out of the mouths of these dogs, the crude humor, the language, the situations, a child will be asking way more questions after the movie ends if you allow them to watch it. So, this is a film definitely for adults.
The premise is straight forward, but it works so well, it follows Reggie (voice of Will Ferrell), who finds himself constantly seeking the love of his owner, Doug (Will Forte). Forte is an absolute scene stealer and hilarious in the movie. I mean his foul-mouthed, drug-addicted, sex-addicted character was a hoot to watch on the big screen. He treats Reggie like the worst thing in the world; the problem is Reggie doesn’t realize that. When Reggie causes Doug’s girlfriend to break up with him, Doug makes it his mission to get rid of Reggie once and for all, but Reggie just keeps finding his way back home, until one trip, he doesn’t. It is in the big city that Reggie soon discovers he has been abandoned by Doug and is officially a stray. It is on the streets he meets a truly foul-mouthed pup by the name of Bug (voice of Jamie Foxx).
Bug teaches Reggie the rules of being a stray, while building a friendship with his other pals Maggie (voice of Isla Fisher) and Hunter (voice of Randall Park). These four dogs then become besties and are the stars of the flick, yes, there is plenty of human interaction, but this movie is for the dogs. The things they do and say will really get you thinking, what if dogs could actually talk. Worse, what are dogs actually thinking when we talk to them?
After going on a few fun adventures with some hijinks that leave you saying did they truly just show that on the screen, Reggie realizes Doug never cared about him and it becomes his mission to return back to Doug to take away his manhood, literally. It is the wildest thing you could imagine for a movie, but you buy into it as a viewer. You are on this journey with the pups and there is a scene involving mushrooms that had me crying and another scene in a kennel that is so gross, absurd and profane the tears just rolled from my eyes.
“Strays” may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the profanity is a bit much, which I felt in the beginning, it was more a focus on how many bad words can we toss out of a dog’s mouth, before I found myself invested in these dogs even though they’re fictional animals, they tug at your heart. If you need a belly ache after a tough day or week of work “Strays” will absolutely do the job and make you forget about all of your worries.