See Arquette stumble in inane `See Spot Run'

Movie review

March 02, 2001|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

It speaks volumes when: a) a movie has an inane title such as "See Spot Run" and b) David Arquette is its main draw.

If you're deducing that it's best to pass on this film, congratulations! You've just won an evening that wasn't wasted on 95 minutes of flat jokes, cheap dog poop humor and the mostly unfunny Arquette.

Arquette - who was good in "Never Been Kissed" but is best known for his real-life role of Mr. Courteney Cox - stars as Gordon Smith, an immature Seattle mail carrier who is infatuated with his pretty neighbor Stephanie. The problem is, Stephanie (Leslie Bibb from TV's "Popular") is a single mom who thinks Gordon is too irresponsible to be a good boyfriend or father.

But one day, the baby sitter cancels just before Stephanie's business trip, and Arquette ends up watching her son, James (the adorable 6-year-old Angus T. Jones). And the mayhem begins almost immediately.

Somehow, Gordon and James wind up in possession of an FBI superdog named Agent 11 that mobster Sonny Talia (Paul Sorvino) wants dead. Agent 11 was placed in the FBI's witness protection program after aiding in a sting operation on Talia. But the plucky bull mastiff escapes witness protection and hides out with Gordon and James while the FBI and Talia's brainless goons try to track him down.

"Spot" isn't entirely a lost cause; its simplistic plot and uncomplicated stabs at humor likely will appeal to children. And the movie has one hilarious pet store scene in which Arquette shows that a flair for physical comedy does lurk deep, deep, deep within him.

And even if Arquette doesn't inspire giggles, his supporting cast does. Michael Clarke Duncan (Academy Award nominee for "The Green Mile") is mildly funny as the FBI agent overly attached to Agent 11, while Anthony Anderson ("Me, Myself & Irene") is hysterical as Gordon's best pal Benny.

Lastly, it also can be said that "Spot" is tremendously thought-provoking - those who see it might spend days pondering the question: "What does Courteney Cox see in David Arquette?"

`See Spot Run'

Starring David Arquette, Michael Clarke Duncan, Leslie Bibb

Directed by John Whitesell

Released by Warner Bros. Pictures

Rated PG (crude humor, adult language and comic violence)

Running time 95 minutes

Sun score * 1/2

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