Story

Patrick is a lovable but mischievous pug. When Sarah’s grandmother dies, she bequeaths Patrick to Sarah (Beattie Edmondson). Sarah isn’t a dog lover and has enough troubles with relationships without the responsibility of having to care for a dog. Also, Sarah lives in a flat with a strict no pet policy, and she’s about to start a new job as an English teacher at a comprehensive school. Nonetheless, Sarah takes on Patrick out of love for her grandmother until she can find a home for him.

Patrick inevitably turns Sarah’s life upside down but proves himself useful by introducing her to other dog owners when they go for walks. First Sarah meets a handsome vet (Ed Skrein) to whom she’s instantly attracted, but she discovers he’s vain and self-centred. Then she meets Ben (Tom Bennett) but discovers that he’s the married parent of one of her students, Vicky (Emilia Jones). Vicky has been having some troubles at home, which have affected her schoolwork. Sarah discovers that Vicky’s mother has a new boyfriend, which has been very upsetting for Vicky. It does mean, however, that Ben is now a free man.

Sarah finds herself juggling her work and relationships while Patrick works his way into her heart.

Themes

Relationships; marriage breakdown

Violence

Patrick has some violence:

  • Sarah and her boyfriend argue. He wants to leave her as he says he needs some time.
  • Students get into a fight at school.

There’s also some slapstick violence, which includes the following:

  • Sarah chases after Patrick and trips in the park.
  • Patrick vomits in Sarah’s flat and she slips over in it.

Sarah falls into a bush and collapses during a 5 km fun run.

Sexual references

Patrick has some sexual references. For example, Sarah asks her students why Mr Rochester (from the book Jane Eyre) is so powerful. One of the students replies, ‘It’s because of his tight trousers’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Patrick shows some use of substances. For example, characters drinks socially at various events and places, including in a bar, at a restaurant and at home.

Nudity and sexual activity

Patrick has some partial nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • Sarah is shown in pants and stockings while she gets dressed.
  • Sarah is seen in the bath but covered in bubbles.
  • Sarah and Ben kiss briefly.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in Patrick: Corn Flakes and Snickers. Facebook and Tinder are mentioned. Toy Story is shown screening on a TV.

Coarse language

Patrick has some mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Patrick is a romantic comedy that relies on slapstick humour for its laughs and Patrick’s puggy cuteness for its appeal. It’s lighthearted but the story lacks depth. The movie is likely to be most popular with older children and teenagers.

The main messages from this movie are that what initially seems to be a bad thing can often turn out to be a good thing and that pets can enrich your life.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include compassion, kindness and mutual respect.

This movie could also give you the chance talk with your children about real-life issues, including how marriages don’t always work. Although this is very upsetting for children of any age, it can often be better for parents to separate than to stay unhappily together.