Due to my family’s benevolently neglectful parenting style, Jamie Lee Curtis entered my life at an early age, likely too early by most therapists’ standards, given the vehicle to our introduction was the horror movie Halloween. As such, I now have the nerves of a tormented puppy-a love of all things Jamie Lee.
The reasons for this love are multifold. For one, in a town where sporting short grey hair is tantamount to treason, Jamie Lee Curtis is a Hollywood anomaly: a gracefully aging, grounded actor who has removed herself from the image-based pressure of Hollywood to focus on what she loves: her family, her writing, her charity work, and, of course, movies.
Of the latter, there is something for everyone: From scream queen to sex symbol to cult hero, Curtis is the quintessential all-genre Hollywood star. The daughter of actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Curtis was inducted into Hollywood at an early age, making her acting debut in the aforementioned 1978 horror masterpiece Halloween (the occasion of our acquaintance). This was followed by starring roles in movies from the cult classic comedy A Fish Called Wanda to blockbuster True Lies (co-starring with a beefy Arnold and an equally beefy Doberman Pinscher) to feel-good family movie Freaky Friday, in which she memorably swapped places with Lindsay Lohan.
After taking time off in 2006 to focus on her family (she’s married to mockumentary director Christopher Guest of Best in Show fame-more to love!), Curtis has returned to the silver screen, giving us dog lovers one more reason to adore her; she’s back to star in Disney’s new adventure-comedy Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Curtis plays the mom of petite pampered pooch Chloe (voice of Drew Barrymore), who finds herself accidentally lost in the mean streets of Mexico without a day spa or Rodeo Drive boutique anywhere in sight. Now alone for the first time in her spoiled life, she must rely on some unexpected new friends, including a street-hardened German Shepherd named Delgado (voice of Andy Garcia) and an amorous pup named Papi (voice of George Lopez), to lend her a paw and help her to find her inner strength on their epic trek back home. A true girl-gets-lost-and-finds-a-moral-to-the-story (and maybe love?) movie, the film co-stars Piper Perabo, Manolo Cardona, and Eugenio Derbez, along with an adorable bunch of really well-trained Chihuahuas. We have a feeling that Chloe will be up there with likes of Legally Blonde’s Chihuahua Bruiser Woods after this release, (Anyone else thinking love match? Is there a potential for Hollywood super-Chihuahua puppies?)
We suggest you sneak your own pup into this one. Perhaps she’ll pick up some pointers for the “Jarabe Tapatio” a.k.a. “The Mexican Hat dance,” or she’ll envy Chloe and accuse you of never taking her anywhere, thereby missing the point of the story. Regardless, we’re betting you’ll both love this story of friendship, inner strength, and an incredible journey.
In theatres September 26, 2008; disney.com/Chihuahua