Pros: Enchanting family film with minor suspense and romance
Cons: Sometimes too "sugary"
When it comes to romances nowadays, it seems that one of the first things that comes into mind is to how they were in the "sack". However, I have come to the point where I am tired of looking at romantic ventures such as this where there's obvious sex before marriage and am looking for romance in its ultimate form instead -- true.
That's why I have enjoyed a movie now for numerous years with a rather unique love story indeed -- one between a dog and a dolphin -- Zeus and Roxanne.
Basic Plot Elements
In actuality, there is more than Zeus and Roxanne than just a dog and dolphin love story so I would like to expand upon my remarks and briefly explain the plot.
Mary Beth, a marine sealife scientist, has been reintroducing Roxanne (dolphin) back to the ocean. Roxanne was trained in captivity and does not really feel comfortable with other dolphins for some reason. However, Zeus (dog) owned by Jordan, her next door neighbor, seems to be enchanted with dolphins in general and sneaks upon her boat one morning to see Roxanne in the sea.
The two of them hit it off immediately starting the beginning of a possible grant being received by Mary Beth for further research, to allow her to be able to stay in the area. As she works with Roxanne and Zeus and their budding relationship, her daughters, Nora and Judith, have their own matchmaking service going on. Along with Jordan, the three kids are trying to make romance bud between Mary Beth and Terry, Jordan's father.
This proves to be a challenge in two ways. The first is that Terry's wife died and he has closure issues, and the second is that the villain of this film, Claude Carver, who is Mary Beth's rival has his "face" everywhere in Mary Beth's life when Terry finally gets enough nerve to make a first move.
As Claude Carver tries to ruin Mary Beth's chances at her grant, the love fest for everyone seems to turn sour. It takes a very dramatic situation to prove that love is indeed true in a life and death rescue that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
The good points of Zeus and Roxanne are obvious. This is a really non-violent family film that does not have violence in it or vulgarity. There's no sexual scenes and the intereaction of the children is truly entertaining and believable. Overall it's a very enchanting film regardless of whether or not you like dogs or dolphins, the human characters are hysterical!
In addition, I am truly impressed with Steve Guttenberg's performance as Terry. Since Steve Guttenberg's been in so MANY films, it is very easy to want to "stereotype" him as being "Mahoney" in Police Academy or another character. But Steve Guttenberg has the ability to erase our memory of those characters and makes us believe that he truly "is" Terry, the rock musician instead. That makes this an excellent asset to this film.
Overall, Zeus and Roxanne is just clean fun, and because of that it appeals to children of all ages. Even my teenager likes it although he thinks part of it is corny now that he is getting in his upper teens. But my younger child adores the interaction of the kids and Roxanne/Zeus and we've worn out one tape already in the process!
Some would say that the lack of "adult" type action would be a drawback, but since Zeus and Roxanne is supposed to be a family film, I don't "buy" that as a drawback.
The major drawback that I have found is that the person who plays Claude Carver (the villain) really is too "nice" in appearance to be a villain. He smiles all of the time and this threw my kid off because he didn't think that guy could be a bad guy because he looked nice and appeared to be pleasant all of the time. Perhaps it was a script flaw or casting flaw, but that character just is not believable to me as the villain.
For a rainy day afternoon, Zeus and Roxanne is an ideal family film for all to enjoy. As I mentioned, we have watched this movie for years, first in the theater and too many times in my home to even tell you.
With its innocent nature, appealing child actors, and endless appeal between dog and dolphin, I believe that Zeus and Roxanne will continue to be a family favorite for many more years to come.