Without giving anything away, even at the end, when Adrien is in a life-threatening position, he still has hope. To be fair to the film, it is much more Kiki, his mom, who needs to come back to life. That is all well and good, but then why does the movie repeatedly tell the viewer that Adrien is only this lively around the clown? Based on what is shown, that is inaccurate. This makes The Boy, The Dog, And The Clown very hard to swallow, as it is selling something that is not there.
But, that is not to say there is nothing that works. Adrien Lyon is spunky and fun in the lead role, and his chemistry with his co-stars is pretty good. While he does have a line read or two that is shaky, he’s mostly an affable presence. As the mute (more or less) clown, Gabriel Dell Jr. brings a fantastic energy to the role and has excellent comedic timing. When Kiki is returning home, and the clown needs to hide, his goofy antics are amusing.
“…fits the sweet mood of the film perfectly and even helps sell some of the comedic moments…”
Kiki del Vecchio is also pretty good. She sells the exposition of Adrien’s emotional well being believable, despite the gulf between what is said and what is shown. Kenny Johnston is a bit too hammy for my tastes, but I imagine his slapstick ways will amuse the target demographic. Jennifer Christopher is okay as the aunt, even though she gets the least amount to do out of everyone in the cast.
Also proving to be quite the boon to The Boy, The Dog, And The Clown is its score. Composed by Chris Ridenhour and Eliza Swenson, both of who I was equally surprised to see attached here, the score is pleasing and uplifting. It fits the sweet mood of the film perfectly and even helps sell some of the comedic moments that might not land otherwise.
Despite its best efforts, The Boy, The Dog, And The Clown never rise above decent. The cast is good if not amazing, the directing is good, and the score is actually really good. Plus, the whole affair is sweet-natured. But the script tells the audience things about the characters’ behaviors that they never demonstrate, and therefore, the movie never feels realistic. Which means the ending does not land as intended.
"…Adrien Lyon is spunky and fun in the lead role"