5 Out of 5 Stars
Denis is having a rotten week. He just lost his job of 11 years. His relationship is gone stale, and rocky. His Mother, a sweet and overbearing woman, is seriously ill. With all the turmoil going on around him, what does Mom suggest? "Get a dog." But when Dennis goes to the pound and can't decide which dog he wants, the one he finally chooses is gone when he goes back. When he finds out why, Dennis decides exactly what his modern mid-life crisis needs.
He makes his "Abrupt Decision" (the fifth feature from filmmaker Paul Bright) when he realizes that his creative collapse mirrors that of the dogs' dangerous lives. With some inspiration from his Mom (Cynthia Schiebel) and the reluctant support of his partner, Milosz (David LaDuca), Denis (Steve Callahan) decides that saving the lives of animals and educating people on their care is his way into a meaningful second act. You know how the saying goes, if you don't want to be upstaged in a movie, stay away from children and dogs? Despite the superb job by Steve and David, the pups are "Abrupt Decision's" scene stealers. But beware. Even with the cute pooches running amuck, this is a very emotionally striking movie.
In the new economy, where men like Denis can find their lives upended and discover that your expertise vaporized after 50 (along with a funny montage of a degenerating series of interviews - featuring me), there are many among us who will relate to the impact of "Abrupt Decision's" story. As Denis struggles to find the right decisions in matters of utmost importance, you may put down the doggy treats and reach for the hankies. I'll certainly say that the film is a must-see for pet-lovers, but it also carries an intimate, personal life story.