Puppy Love, directed by Nick Fabiano and Richard Alan Reid, is a movie that has an old-school charm about it. This is a boy-girl story, but it’s via a canine connection. A romantic comedy is pretty hard to execute, given that the zeitgeist is ever evolving. But Puppy Love works pretty well because of the performances. Lucy Hale and Grant Gustin bring their A-game to the table and create likable, relatable, honest, and vulnerable characters. The writing helps, as it gives them ample space to showcase their range. The film has poignant moments as well as hilarious ones, and it just seems like the full package; that is what was missing in this genre.
For what it is, Puppy Love is actually endearing. The plot of Puppy Love revolves around two people who have unique problems that hinder them from finding love. First, there is Max, who has social anxiety, and then there is Nicole, who behaves as a free spirit only to hide her real self from the world. They are so different in their attitudes toward life that their being together would be the miracle of the century, yet that is exactly what happens, but not without the help of the two dogs they rescue.
Plot Synopsis: What happens In The Film?
Max, working for his friend Sid, is someone who has social anxiety and barely functions in the real world. He likes to stay in his house with as little interference as possible. His hobby is to collect weird artifacts like Marlon Brando’s cigar from ‘The Godfather,’ and he nerds out over Star Wars stuff. He wouldn’t even qualify to be a young adult anymore, and he knows that it is not a normal way to live, which is why he sees a therapist, and that too, not in person but online. Sid keeps telling him about the ways of the world and how to woo a woman, but the hilarious part is that he himself is single. Max is advised by his therapist to adopt a dog, and he rescues Chloe, and they start to build a bond gradually. Meanwhile, Nicole had a streak of one-night stands and couldn’t even clearly pronounce her ex-boyfriend’s name. Partying all night was one of her ways to distract herself from whatever was bothering her. She doesn’t even want to see a therapist and continues to do her job of ‘home staging.’ She rescues a dog from the dumpster when she feels low and sees that the dog is completely abandoned. Nicole and Max were stuck in a world where they avoided connecting with anyone on a deeper level. Something really bizarre had to happen to make them do so, and it happened when they met each other through a dating app.
Why Didn’t Max And Nicole Hit It Off?
As with all genuine love stories, it is often the case that there is an obstacle that has to be overcome. Max was just coming out of his shell, and Nicole wasn’t really ready to bulldoze the thick, strong walls she had raised around herself. On his therapist’s advice, Max made a profile on the dating app and used Chloe to make him more appealing to women. Nicole, who had just been called a selfish and closed person by her ex-boyfriend, was ready to forget it all by having another fling, so she put her picture up on the same dating app. Serendipitously, they both matched. However, when they met each other, catastrophe followed—at least, that’s how they saw it. Nicole saw Max as someone who was so sheltered that he couldn’t function properly, and Max saw that Nicole was a harbinger of chaos. They both came with their dogs. Max brought Chloe, and Nicole brought Channing with her. She didn’t listen to Max one bit and made him eat spicy chicken wings, which made him sick. Meanwhile, Channing and Chloe ran away and got it on while Max was arguing with Nicole. When they panicked and found the dogs in indecent positions, both parties blamed each other, and Max threw up because of the food. They had a disastrous start, and things only got more complicated.
How Did Max And Nicole Grow Close?
Even though the veterinarian had told Nicole that Channing was neutered, Chloe was pregnant. Max was in no mood to call Nicole, but the situation required that he talk to the owner of the dog that made Chloe pregnant. Nicole couldn’t believe it. They had Channing checked up again, and it turned out that he was indeed capable of fathering pups. Max and Nicole were invariably linked. They couldn’t stand each other, yet they were considerate of their pets and didn’t want them to live apart from each other. Nicole left Channing at Max’s place because her building didn’t allow dogs. Max saw Channing yearning for Nicole at night and asked her to come to stay at his house, as he couldn’t see Channing being that depressed. But when Nicole made unsolicited changes to his house, which he saw as his only ‘sanctuary,’ his anxiety shot through the roof, and he stormed off after giving her an earful. But oddly enough, this was also the time when he realized that he had a chance to grow. He apologized for his behavior and, in a vulnerable moment, revealed to her that he had anxiety issues. Later, he gave an explanation that his ex-girlfriend cheated on him and he was isolated during COVID, after which these symptoms came up. Nicole, too, dropped her guard a little and said that ever since her father died, she hasn’t been able to open up to anyone completely. She only works in house staging because she passed up on her chance to go to art school. Both began to accept their real selves and grew closer, although there was still a long way to go.
Did Max And Nicole Break Up?
Sometimes it isn’t enough just to be vulnerable in front of somebody to form a long-term connection. Habits have to change, and real introspection has to be done to determine whether they even want to be with somebody. Max and Nicole were not showing enough courage to express their real feelings to each other. They were ready to do all the peripheral fun stuff, like going to dog-bonding classes together or playing cards all night. They were even pushing each other to pursue their real passions, but when it came to confronting their emotions honestly and admitting that they both really loved each other, they simply chickened out.
When Max saw Nicole ready for a party, he refused to go with her because of her insecurities, as he himself thought that she was way out of her league. Nicole had set up the date so that Max would go with her, and they would finally move forward in this relationship. From ‘dog-grandparents,’ they will become lovers, perhaps. But when Max made some silly plans of his own, Nicole too withdrew and got angry that he wasn’t showing any interest. Before she started to stay at Max’s house, Nicole had met Hunter, a ridiculously beefed-up guy who had given Nicole the job of home-staging his apartment. Max’s call about Chloe’s pregnancy had made Hunter ditch Nicole, but now she was furious at Max and was in a mood for vengeance. So when she saw Hunter again at the party, she ended up bringing him to Max’s place to start another fling. Max was hurt, and he took it out on Hunter when he started to touch his collected antique items. Later, he asked Nicole to move out of the house. Both of their feelings were hurt, and Nicole realized after talking to her childhood friend that she was just being someone who refused a real connection. Even though she likes Max, she refuses to apologize for wrecking his house once and then having the audacity to bring Hunter back to his place. Sid, too, advised Max that he had been too harsh and had also evicted Nicole because he didn’t see a future with her.
During Puppy Love‘s ending, Nicole decided to apologize to Max because she realized that doing the right thing was better than protecting her ego. Nicole and Max hit it off again, and she made him start singing again, which seemed to be his true passion. Max repaid the gesture by submitting all her artwork to the university that she had gotten into but didn’t go to because of her father’s illness. They realized that they were made for each other when Chloe gave birth to little puppies right on the pavement, and Nicole and Max, who had petted the dogs as their own kids, were now seeing the results of their efforts. Nicole was grateful that Max submitted her artwork, and Max, on the other hand, had grown more social ever since he and Nicole came close. They had a party in celebration of Chloe and Channing’s puppies. Nicole helped him get better at dealing with social anxiety, and Max made her believe in real care, which is why she could become grateful for her life again. Hopefully, they will continue their relationship even when she goes off to college and Max leaves his job to follow the music path now that he has overcome his stage fright.