Bomb Rating: 

Since "Buddy" is a film that is inherently disingenuous because it deals with a subject that requires the sense of smell in order to be fully appreciated, I suggest the following cinematic aid:

1. Do not bathe or change clothes for at least one week.
2. Go to your local theater and purchase a ticket for "Buddy."
3. Place your underwear on your head so that you can see through the leg openings but the rest of your face is covered.

Congratulations. You'll now have a better appreciation for what it's like to live with chimps and gorillas.

Since this film comes to us via Jim Henson Productions there's no need to worry about the fact that living with apes is like living in a cesspool, since Muppets don't belch or swallow or crap. Face it, no curious four-year-old has ever yelled out, "Say, check out the anus on that Muppet!" during a Henson film.

This gives director Caroline ("Black Beauty") Thompson a lot of flexibility in telling the story of Gertrude "Trudy" Lintz (Rene Russo) and her household of animals. Instead of being Dante's 8th circle of Hell, the Lintz domicile is all fun and games. The addition of Buddy, the baby gorilla, just adds to the fun, at least until Buddy grows up and realizes he'd like to be with other gorillas. At that point we're supposed to get all weepy because some rich, stupid woman has finally come to her senses and realized she can't play dress-up with the big gorilla forever.

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