Abby Barnes (Janeane Garofalo) is a veterinarian who hosts a Los Angeles radio show called The Truth About Cats and Dogs. Her advice is sensible and as she tells radio callers, not to leave dogs home alone. Because they get depressed.
Abby becomes friends with her neighbor Noelle Slusarsky (UmaThurman), a model who is sweet but not very bright, when Abby overhears Noelle’s boyfriend and manager, Roy (James McCaffrey), verbally abusing her on the doorstep. Abby tells Noelle that she doesn’t have to allow herself to be treated that way.
Noelle is encouraged by Abby’s show of support. They begin to spend time together. Noelle says, “You and I combined make the perfect woman.” Abby realizes that Noelle means that combined they have good looks plus good brains.
When Abby makes a blind date with a caller to her show, Brian (Ben Chaplin), her insecurity about being short and brunette leads her to persuade Noelle to pretend to be Abby when meeting for the date. Of course, both women develop feelings for the man, leading to a comedic series of misunderstandings as the unintended consequences of their deception grow deeper.
Director: Michael Lehmann
Year of Release: 1996
Character to watch: Janeane Garofalo as Abby Barnes.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?