Have you ever done something that you knew was a bad idea but against all judgment you did it anyway? That’s what I did when I bought a copy of Puppy Swap, Love Unleashed.
First a bit of background. Our family has been blessed with Sasha, a two-and-a-half-year-old Pomeranian. We recently welcomed her sister Sadie into our home. So when I saw the DVD of Puppy Swap on the store shelf with two Pomeranian sisters on the cover, I had to buy it. Sure it looked cute, but my spider sense was warning me that this movie should be taken straight to the pound. I should have heeded the warning.
Lovers Jessica and Mel (Sara E. R. Fletcher and Rib Hillis) are living the good life in the wilds of Montana. We are reminded of this every few moments with shots of rolling fields and majestic mountains. One night they give each other a gift of baby Pomeranians: Haley and Lindsey, who can speak, but only the viewer can hear their thoughts. Our clueless couple can not. Mel gives Jessica an engagement ring but one of the dogs eats it. Insert poop jokes here.
Three months later our lovebirds have a spat. Jessica leaves town for the inviting lights of L.A. Mel stays home to work on his beef stew recipe. A sexy cashier from town wants to help Mel with his ladle but our hero is more chaste than Mother Teresa and gives her the brush off. The pooches are split up and heartbroken.
Flash forward a few years and Jessica has a winning makeup line in her hands. To promote it, her boss sends her to (wait for it) Montana. Apparently eye shadow is a big seller in Hicktown, USA. Cue the mountain slides.
The dogs are accidentally reunited at the local animal shelter. This fine establishment is run by Delilah (Margot Kidder on a bad day) who has dementia. The writers make her the butt of many unfunny jokes, because you know it’s always a grand time making fun of the disabled. For example, Mel tells Delilah “I’ll see you around.” Delilah replies, “See you? How? I am going blind.” Many guffaws follow.
Since they look somewhat alike the Poms decide to switch places with each other (hence the title). They hope that by confusing their owners it will make them get back together. The insane plan somehow works and soon our formerly antagonistic couple are driving down the road in Mel’s macho truck. Until, that is, the truck breaks down in the middle of nowhere because a crafty canine put a stick in the exhaust. It seems to be a major road but yet no other car passes by throughout the afternoon and into the night. Stranded, Mel decides to break the ice. “Remember the day we went camping? It was June 10th,” Mel brags. “Wow! you remember the date?” an impressed Jennifer replies. “Nah, I made it up.” Mel is sure a shrewd master of small talk.
Morning arrives and Mel discovers a horse in a nearby field. As luck would have it, it even comes equipped with reins and a saddle! Jennifer and Mel ride the horse the 10 miles back to town while the Poms, huffing and puffing, are forced to hoof it back. The dogs are having second thoughts about their master plan.
It’s nuptial time as Mel and Jennifer tie the knot. The church is so rustic the parishioners sit on bales of hay instead of pews. Alas a Pom swallows the ring (again). Poop bag in hand, Delilah is ready to retrieve it. We are spared the sight of a Pomeranian colonoscopy and are treated to yet more shots of fields. For those of you still interested, Mel’s beef stew wins first prize at the fair. Now I can sleep at night.
Now I am back in the real world with Sadie and Sasha. Even they had no interest in watching this mongrel of a movie. Overall rating: no bones.
— Blaise Majkowski, B-movie afficionado