Hotel for Dogs

Rated 2.0

Two orphan siblings (Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin), tired of hiding their dog from their mean foster parents, transfer him to an abandoned hotel, where in time they set up a shelter for strays from all over town, complete with comical Rube Goldberg contraptions to cater to every canine need. The script by Jeff Lowell, Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle doesn’t seem to know much about dog behavior, or foster services, or anything else—but perhaps all that is more the fault of Lois Duncan’s original book. Thor Freudenthal’s direction enters into the cartoon spirit, alternating broad comedy with sentimentality. It’s harmless junk for small kids—but no matter how harmless, it’s still junk. A touch of class is provided by Lisa Kudrow as the children’s foster mother and Don Cheadle as their social worker.