Anyone who’s ever had a pet can attest to the bond that is formed over the years with an animal friend. It’s no secret that those who keep animals as pets view their companions as members of their family - and the mental as well as physical health benefits of owning a house pet have been proven, time and time again. No doubt about it, domesticated animals can be great friends to humans.
In fact, in some cases, a pet has been credited with saving their owner’s life – as is the case with author James Bowen. Bullied throughout school until he dropped out, Bowen spent ten years homeless in London as a heroin addict. After encountering an injured stray tabby cat one day, Bowen named the animal Bob and nursed him back to health. From this point onward, Bob followed Bowen everywhere, even accompanying him as he busked around London.
The more time that Bob and Bowen spent together, the more popular with the public they became around some of London’s districts. Bowen eventually went on to write several books about his time with the cat and how their relationship changed his life. The first book in the series, A Street Cat Named Bob sold over 1 million copies in the UK and has been translated into 30 languages. Thanks to the book’s enormous success, a film adaptation has been made of the pair’s story and you can see the first trailer for A Street Cat Named Bob above.
Directed by Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies) the film stars Luke Treadaway (Unbroken) as James Bowen and also features Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) and Beth Goddard (Edge of Tomorrow). The majority of the scenes involving the cat, Bob, are actually played by Bob himself. The trailer showcases the rather sombre aspects of Bowen’s life prior to meeting Bob, their encounter and the subsequent change in both Bowen’s and Bob's everyday lives as a result of their unlikely friendship.
The film may come off as slightly sappy to some and those who don’t feel much of an affinity toward cats might give it a pass, but this is a story beyond a troubled man who finds solace in a pet. This looks to be a tale of perseverance and courage in overcoming hardship. However lighthearted it seems, this is precisely the type of story that often clicks with audiences and finds success.
Feel good movies tend to do well because audiences often want something they can leave the theater feeling happy about. The world can be an especially dark place as of late and for this reason, it’s best not to be fooled into thinking A Street Cat Named Bob hasn’t got much chance at the box office – audiences everywhere still love seeing everyone live happily ever after.
A Street Cat Named Bob opens in UK theaters on November 4, 2016.