The Truth About Cats & Dogs

April 26th, 1996


The Truth About Cats & Dogs

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Still of Uma Thurman, Janeane Garofalo and Ben Chaplin in The Truth About Cats & DogsStill of Janeane Garofalo, Ben Chaplin and Michael Lehmann in The Truth About Cats & Dogs

A successful veternarian & radio show host with low self-esteem asks her model friend to impersonate her when a handsome man wants to see her.

Release Year: 1996

Rating: 6.2/10 (15,973 voted)

Critic's Score: 64/100

Director: Michael Lehmann

Stars: Uma Thurman, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Chaplin

Janeane Garofalo plays Dr. Abby Barnes, the "Truth About Cats and Dogs" radio question-and-answer show host who unwittingly entices a listener over the radio with her soothing voice and personality. This listener, Brian, tries to meet the Abby from the radio, but Noelle, played by Uma Thurman, is mistaken for the real thing when Brian comes to the studio. Instead of clearing things up right away, the self-conscious Abby allows her best friend, Noelle, a tall, stunning blonde, to take her place for a while. Abby takes on the made-up persona of Donna, while thinking Brian would never go for her, a short, cute, brunette, who thinks she's unattractive. As the real Abby woos Brian over the phone and radio, Noelle, the pseudo-Abby, takes her place in the flesh. As time goes on, Abby feels more and more confident that Brian would rather have the beautiful Noelle than the simply attractive Abby.

Uma Thurman - Noelle
Janeane Garofalo - Abby
Ben Chaplin - Brian
Jamie Foxx - Ed
James McCaffrey - Roy
Richard Coca - Eric
Stanley DeSantis - Mario
Antoinette Valente - Susan
Mitch Rouse - Bee Man
La Tanya M. Fisher - Emily
Faryn Einhorn - Child Model
David Cross - Voice of Male Radio Caller / Bookstore Man
Mary Lynn Rajskub - Female Radio Caller (voice)
Bob Odenkirk - Bookstore Man
Dechen Thurman - Bookstore Cashier

Taglines: Brian's about to discover the woman he loves isn't the woman he loves.

Release Date: 26 April 1996

Filming Locations: Abbot's Habit - 1401 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, Los Angeles, California, USA

Gross: $34,073,143 (USA) (11 August 1996)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Janeane Garofalo has been quite vocal about how unhappy she was with the film. Initially, The Truth About Cats & Dogs was an independent film. It was bought up as a studio movie when Uma Thurman signed on. Garofalo remarked: "I think its soft and corny. The soundtrack makes you want to puke. And everybody's dressed in Banana Republic clothing. The original script and intent was very different. It was supposed to be a small-budget independent film, with a lot more complexity to the characters. When it became a studio commercial film, Abby and the guy wind up together at the end." Garofalo has since disowned the film, calling it anti-feminist.

Continuity: When Noelle comes to the radio station to replace Abby's bow, she is wearing a jacket. When we then see her in close up the jacket is gone.

Abby: We can love our pets, we just can't LOVE our pets.

User Review

I'm impressed by the comments here.


This is a lovely, funny and well done romantic comedy. I have to admit I am impressed by the folks who continue to say they felt JG was too pretty to be Abby and that it just didn't ring true to them because of that fact. Well I'm here to tell you folks that this movie is closer to the truth than you realize. One of the things that DOES make this film soo good is that Abby is truly a lovely woman but is surrounded by main stream media and what it says beauty is, namely, Noelle, played admirably by Uma Thurman. Yes Abby is a beautiful woman, but as a woman who looks nothing like all the adds on TV or magazines like JG it is easy to see why she would think she isn't. And honestly I know way too many men who would pass her by in favor of the Noelles of this world. I have a beautiful friend who is very similar to JG and she has had the same problems Abby has in this movie because of perceived images of beauty. THAT is the message this film is trying to make that Abby is beautiful and the media has put too much emphasis on stereotypes. No I don't think they should have hired an UGLIER actress that is simply ridiculous, the film was not about an ugly woman but a beautiful woman who has fallen into the trap of "THINKING" she is unattractive! Watch the movie again folks, you'll see what I mean.


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