Film Review – A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)

Title – A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)

Director – Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies)

Cast – Luke Treadaway, Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt, Anthony Head, Bob the Cat

Plot – The true story of recovering drug addict and one time homeless musician James Bowen (Treadaway) and his friendship with street cat Bob (Bob the cat) that would go on to change the course of his life forever.

“I’ve got Bob. He’ll look after me”

Review by Eddie on 17/05/2017

I like many of you out there have seen and heard of many an odd story in my life but if you’d have told me a few years ago that I would’ve watched and enjoyed a film about a homeless musician/recovering drug addict that strikes up an unlikely friendship with a stray ginger cat, I would’ve laughed and said “you’re having me on” but what makes this scenario even stranger is A Street Cat Named Bob is a film about just that, and a true story.

Seasoned director Roger Spottiswoode (the man who gave us slobbery dog comedy Turner and Hooch) finds himself here adapting James Bowen’s best-selling autobiography of his drug overcoming’s and heart-warming friendship with his 4 legged best mate Bob as the two help each other out and become inseparable along the way.

There’s not a whole lot of “big” conflict or set-up’s in A Street Cat Named Bob (unless you count cat chases as big events) but there’s simple joys and emotion to be found in the small moments Bob shares with Bowen and Bowen’s journey to get his life back on track is a great human interest story, no doubt helping the success of his book for all those that may not feel inclined usually to call felines a favourite.

Spottiswoode (who over uses cat POV camera moments), it could easily be argued, could’ve made more of key moments of Bowen’s story, in particular his trials going cold-turkey off drugs that is here relatively quickly passed over in favour of more shots of Bob looking cute and while Bowen is a relatively likeable down on his luck presence in the film, you do wish you felt a little more connection to him or that he would look for a more meaningful job.

This connection issue is hard to pinpoint as Luke Treadaway does a fine job in his role even if it’s a relatively thankless task trying to act alongside a cat (who here is even played mostly by the real-life Bob!) but it doesn’t end up being all that important in the big scheme of things as at the heart of this tale lays a story that only the most hard-hearted of movie-goers won’t enjoy and perhaps shed a tear or two at along the way.

Final Say –

It’s been a long time between (milk) drinks since our last loveable feline centric hit but with A Street Cat Named Bob we have our newest whisker clad winner! It may not ever threaten to become a classic and it’s sprinkled with movie-making emotional manipulation but this smile inducing true story that’s told optimistically and light heartedly is a likeable event that acts as one of the year’s most notable feel-good experiences.

3 ½ cans of tuna out of 5

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6 responses to “Film Review – A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)

  1. Excellent film – did not know much about the story – loved it. Gotta now read his book.

  2. I first watched this film on a long-haul flight and enjoyed it so much I watched it on my flight back home as well. It’s such a sweet, modest little movie and speaking as a cat lover it’s nice to see a film about the human/animal bond that’s *not* about a dog for a change. Cats have been typecast as the cinematic baddies for far too long – down with the stereotypes! 😉

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