Hotel for Dogs

What are the outside ages for a "tween?" Eight to twelve, maybe?

I listened carefully to the audience response in today's screening of "Hotel for Dogs" and the tots were completely at sea with the scary abandoned hotel, those villainous Animal Control officers and the issue of foster parents. The adults seemed to be singularly unimpressed by the lovely young "Tween Queen," Emma Roberts ("Wild Child" and "Nancy Drew"), despite her pedigree: Eric Roberts' daughter and Julia Roberts' niece.

Roberts plays an orphan who, along with her younger brother, has gone through an endless series of foster parents provided by a patient and well-intentioned case worker, Don Cheadle (the "Ocean's" series and "Traitor"). That younger brother, played by Jake T. Austin ("The Perfect Game" and lots of TV work), is an aspiring inventor. The Rube Goldberg contraptions he builds are clever enough, but far too confusing for the little 'uns to appreciate. The only laughter I could detect were from the kids who like to see a place get trashed, so when the dogs run amok in the hotel the siblings have converted into a shelter, hilarity ensues.

Kevin Dillon ("Entourage" on TV and "Poseiden") and Lisa Kudrow ("Friends" on TV and "P.S. I Love You") have the thankless task of being the latest (and the worst!) of those aforementioned foster parents.

This movie is so far removed from reality I guess I'll have to call it a fantasy...and not a very good one at that!