A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)
Critic Consensus: A Street Cat Named Bob uses a fact-based feelgood tale as the inspiration for an unapologetically heartwarming movie that should move all but the most cynical of viewers.
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as James Bowen
as Nigel Bowen
as Carefoot Receptionist
as Dog Owner
as Man with Car
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Critic Reviews for A Street Cat Named Bob
This dramatization... plays like a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie, touching lightly on serious social issues before turning into a Cinderella story.
There's a telly-ish feel to much of A Street Cat Named Bob, an attempt to sanitise life on the streets... But it's impossible to watch a film about a happy-ending story like James and Bob's without a warm glow.
Treadaway may be sympathetic and charming as the struggling musician, but this is Bob's show, all the way.
A rewardingly unassuming, tough and tender portrait of a drug-addicted London busker whose ill-fated life takes a surprising turn after a ginger tabby turns up in his kitchen.
A savvy exercise in inspirational feel-good cinema lightly seasoned with grit.
Audience Reviews for A Street Cat Named Bob
It is good to know that the real-life James and his cat Bob found a proper home and future for themselves. Based on their story, this film traces the events that led to them coming to public attention - James' drug addiction and life on the streets of a cold and miserable London, Bob's adoption of James, their friends and foes, James' struggle to get clean and to look after Bob, and some great strokes of luck. The film however struggles with an unlikely combination, Trainspotting meets Disneyland animal hero story. That's a big ask. James looks suitably dishevelled but is a romantic character. The two heroes have to overcome many bittersweet challenges, and James' love interest is a princess-like young woman. On the other hand, the drug and street scenes are gritty: not at all like the smoother trials of a Disney cartoon. The cat is not a virtual human - its performances are naturalistic, with not many special tricks, and the character is more about how an everyday animal helps people. Consider carefully whether to take children along, as this isn't just a cute animal show, the cat theme only goes so far, and you will have to explain the drug scenes. To manage such disparate elements, the film needed to be decisive - sharply focused, written, directed, edited and acted particularly in the main roles. Though the story is charming, the end product is a little bemusing and corny. The heroes' rescue and success are the exceptions that prove the harsh rule of life on the streets.
A very heartwarming movie which also isn't afraid to show the hidden side of being homeless or an addict too. It is also made better by a superb performance by Bob the cat.
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