THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN – A Review by Cynthia Flores
If you like dogs, then this movie is for you. Based on the best-selling novel by Garth Stein, The Art Of Racing In The Rain is a heartwarming gem. From the beginning, we find out that this movie is not really about Denny (Milo Ventimiglia) the sexy race car driver that dreams of competing as a Formula One driver. Actually, it’s about his witty and philosophical dog named Enzo (Voice of Kevin Costner) who is a golden retriever. The whole film is narrated by this dog that feels more human than canine. We don’t see his lips move, but we know what he is thinking. The film is from his point of view. Literally, sometimes we see the camera down low at his eye level looking up at the world around him. Everything that happens in the story to move it forward is about how it affects him. So as his family grows to include Denny’s wife Eve (Amanda Seyfried) and their young daughter Zoe (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) Enzo learns how to really love no matter what.
Enzo has a close bond to his owner Denny who is the one that exposed him to the world of racing since he was a puppy. Enzo once saw a documentary about dogs in Mongolia. They believe that dogs are the last stage before humans in the reincarnation process. When a dog dies, the owner whispers in the dog’s ear and wishes that the dog will return as a man in his next life. They are buried high in the hills so that people do not walk on their remains. Enzo wants to come back as a race car driver. Because he knows in his heart that is what he is meant to be. Growing up with Denny, Enzo gained tremendous insight into the human condition. He understands that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate our journey of life.
Just because there is a talking dog at the center of The Art Of Racing In The Rain does not make this a film for young children. I think you need to be at least nine years old to really appreciate it. That being said, everyone else should see this touching film. I give The Art of Racing In The Rain an A rating and hope you bring a box of tissues with you because you’ll need it.
Directed by Simon Curtis
Written by Mark Bomback, Garth Stein
Selig Rating A
Running Time 1hr 49min
Drama / Comedy
Wide Release August 9th
Starring: (Voice of) Kevin Costner, Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried, Martin Donovan, Kathy Baker, Ryan Kiera Armstrong
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.