We may be barking mad about films, but our home has also been graced by the love of a British Blue cat called Lord Hooch, who sadly passed away after a long and healthy life.
Much like the BMAF Chihuahuas are a huge part of my life so was his Lordship, so much so that I often would pretend to read the best-selling book A Street Cat Named Bob, the inspiring true story written by James Bowen.
In his honour, we had to, therefore, watch the film version now available to own/rent
For those who do not know the story, it follows James Bowen (Luke Treadaway) a man who has fallen on hard times, we see him busking for very little money, we learn his family has disowned him and he is desperately trying to get off drugs.
Sadly, living on the streets he keeps succumbing as an escape from this life, after nearly overdosing, his support worker Val (Joanne Froggatt) fights to get him a flat to get him off streets and get away from those that possibly encourage him to use.
The condition to this is that he must report in every 2 weeks and take on a methadone program to kick his habit, which he desperately wants to do.
On one of his evenings in his new home, he hears what he thinks is a break in, but the intruder turns out to be a cat (played by the real Bob)
James learns that he is injured and turns to Betty (Ruta Gedmintas) a friend he has made, who is very much anti-drug, as we learn drugs killed her brother (James hides his use from her)
Betty volunteers at an animal shelter which treats animals for those without financial means, they treat Bob with James making the decision to spend the last of his money on the medication which is not free.
This pretty much takes James from looking after a lost cat to becoming his owner, especially as all avenues to find the real owner have been exhausted.
We then follow the ups and downs of their relationship, Bob follows James to his busking location, and immediately wins over the public who want to see him, take selfies etc.
This in part is due to Bob’s closeness to James, he either sits on his shoulder or guitar, amazing the public, who respond by donating more money to James than he has ever seen in his life.
But for all those lovers, there are still those who want to look down on those on hard times, trying to survive on the streets, some yobs let their dog pee on his money and scare Bob.
This causes a large scene which sees James banned from busking, cutting off his only income stream. Matters are made worse when he loses Betty after she finds about his drug past, when he is involved at the death of his friend, Baz (Darren Evans)
We then see them take on a new challenge to raise money by selling the Big Issue, and again Bob’s closeness to James sees them get huge success, as well as becoming a local news story. This of course does anger some of their rival magazine sellers, so much so that the 2 get a ban, when an over zealous tourist takes a photo of Bob and pays for the magazine on another persons patch.
Of course for all the downs, the story is incredibly uplifting, James eventually comes off the methadone program to be completely free of drugs, he also manages to reconcile with his father (played by Anthony Head) and following the local press story as well as the huge buzz around Bob on social media and youtube etc, he is offered a chance to write his story which became a best selling book and changed their lives for ever.
This film is fantastic, it covers the very dark subject matter very well in its 12a certificate. The film is wonderfully directed by Roger Spottiswoode, who has had great success with a dog film in Turner & Hooch, as well as many other hits such as Air America and 007 movie Tomorrow Never Dies)
The film does well by also on many sequences, showing us the world from Bob’s point of view. James Bowen story has been adapted exceptionally well by Tim John and Maria Nation.
If you loved the book, you will love the film (it also gets bonus points for having a Pepper lookalike in one scene, shared in our blog image along with the late Lord Hooch with his favourite book =)
You can find the trailer at Bob’s facebook page here: