Rescued by Ruby: A Netflix Hallmark Movie

Grant Gustin as Daniel O’Neil in Rescued by Ruby. Photo credit: Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix © 2021

Rescued by Ruby is one of the newest original films now streaming on Netflix but it has every bit the feel of a Hallmark movie.

Before I go on, I think it is important for you to know that the dog doesn’t die. In fact, Ruby–half border collie–goes on to be one of the top search and rescue dogs of the year! Her story is so inspiring that it should appeal to more than just dog lovers. I’m a dog lover so I’ll watch anything in which dogs play a substantial role, provided that it isn’t a horror film.

But anyway, I don’t mean Hallmark in a bad way. I’m just saying that this is the type of film that would fit in perfectly with the Hallmark on brand. Unfortunately, it’s not the type of film that really brings in a theatrical audience anymore. Alas, Netflix really is the best possible home for the film.

The setting is Warwick, Rhode Island. State trooper Daniel O’Neil (Grant Gustin) wants nothing more than to join the K-9 Search & Rescue team. Naturally, nobody is giving him the chance. Seven rejections to date and he cannot afford another rejection before he’s no longer eligible. His wife, Mel (Kaylah Zander), is the one who encourages him throughout the highs and lows. At the same time, a shelter dog, Ruby, wants a home but this is looking easier said than done. She’s been there for six months but no matter how many times she gets a home, it never seems to work out. G-d works in mysterious ways by bringing the two of them together. They face challenges in reaching their goal but you can’t ignore the bond between man and best friend. It’s this bond that comes in handy when you think that hope is lost.

The road isn’t easy. With the department out of funds, what helps Daniel is that the K-9s do not necessarily have to be a German Shephard and this is where Ruby enters the picture. After passing the entry exam, they’re supposed train together intensively for six weeks under Captain Zarrella’s (Scott Wolf) direction. However, Ruby breaking free and finding a bee’s nest does not help their case. And again, it’s Mel being the one who points Daniel in the right direction. Eventually, things turn around and they make the junior team and wait patiently until needed. Ruby senses human remains but Daniel can’t see them and things turn sour overnight when Ruby runs off. It takes frantic searching but he finds Ruby and they have a happy ending.

Grant Gustin is in the prime of his career. However, starring in The Flash limits the amount of projects he can work on. It’s either do a film during the hiatus or take a break and recharge ahead of the next season. Every actor is different with their wants and needs. It also depends, of course, on how long film production will take. The actor makes the best of the material he’s given but let’s be honest, the dogs playing Ruby are the real stars of the show no matter what kind of trouble they’re in. I can’t help but wonder what kind of projects he’ll tackle after The Flash comes to an end.

Getting to see the world through Ruby’s eyes is one of the more interesting choices of the film. You never see it coming but it’s something that more filmmakers should offer when man’s best friend is involved. RubyVision is just one of the things to enjoy about the choices in this film.

The film is based on the short stories: Ruby: A Dogwink Story and Dogwink Ruby by SQuire Rushnell & Louise DuArt.

If you’re a dog lover, Rescued by Ruby should be on your watch list. It’s a Hallmark-esque movie so make sure to have a Kleenex box nearby.

CAST: Grant Gustin, Scott Wolf, Kaylah Zander, Camille Sullivan, Tom McBeath

Netflix released Rescued by Ruby on March 17, 2022. Grade: 3.5/5

Please subscribe to Solzy at the Movies on Substack.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.