Review: I’m Like a Puppy, You Need to Train Me

23 March 2020

For all its shortcomings, Bethany “Jal-ap-en-o” Cherry’s debut feature, I’m Like a Puppy, You Need to Train Me, isn’t a case of false advertising. You get exactly what’s on the tin with this movie.

Like the title suggests, this 3-hour autobiography, spanning four months of her work-life, positions Cherry as an exuberant puppy yapping at the heels of her colleagues, and in turn the audience. For a film this long, I expected it to slog though its run-time, but in fact, the pace was quite quick. This is largely due to the fact that Cherry is constantly on the move; surveying an Italy made of pins at one moment, then ducking out for her 56th cup of tea the next, spelling columnist wrong for the 47th time, then mere milliseconds later throwing a rather hard stress ball at one of her colleagues.

Written, directed by and starring Cherry herself, audiences are given a glimpse at the headquarters of famed publication giant, Farrago Magazine, where Cherry boasts “I just consider myself a superior being”. Meanwhile, Tharidi “Morals” Walimunige, Sarah “Bees” Peters and Amber “Instafamous” Meyer work tirelessly with much humbler attitudes. It’s a wonder these three haven’t been drawn to the dark side, even in such close proximity to a colleague who proclaims, “I am the devil of this team” and offers sinful teas.

All in all, I’m Like a Puppy, You Need to Train Me, resulted in three hours I wish I could get back. I’m not sure what to take away after seeing thirty minutes of Cherry complaining about her sore muscles post-bouldering. But if there’s one positive aspect I’ve discovered after seeing the film, it’s that like a puppy, Cherry brings a liveliness to Farrago’s office.

For a debut picture, this isn’t a smash hit. But I’m willing to see what Cherry’s future films entail. There’s potential, I mean, her puns alone are great “fodda” for a script.

Now, if only Bethany Cherry went down a funnier, wittier, one might even say satirical, route for her next work.. 

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