Movie Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

Release: August 9, 2019
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Simon Curtis
Screenplay by: Mark Bomback
Based on the novel by Garth Stein
Producers: Neal H. Moritz, Patrick Dempsey, Tania Landau
Cast: Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried, Gary Cole, Kathy Baker, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Martin Donovan and the voice of Kevin Costner

HASHTAG: #ArtOfRacing
Based on the best-selling novel by Garth Stein, THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN is a heartfelt tale narrated by a witty and philosophical dog named Enzo (voiced by Kevin Costner). Through his bond with his owner, Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia), an aspiring Formula One race car driver, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition and understands that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate the journey of life. The film follows Denny and the loves of his life - his wife, Eve (Amanda Seyfried), their young daughter Zoe (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), and ultimately, his true best friend, Enzo.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is the latest dog movie to hit theaters.  It is unabashedly a pet lover’s film. Any pet will do; dog, cat, chinchilla.  Racing invites those audiences who read the best-selling book by the same title, as well as everyone who has ever seen any incarnation of a pet movie (Marely & Me, Hachi, etc.) and adds to that anyone who enjoys films about human compassion.  Racing is for everyone.   

You don’t have to have a personal investment in pet to appreciate the adorable Enzo’s (the dog) philosophies about personal interactions. Even as a puppy, Enzo (voiced by Kevin Costner) provides an insightful, almost sage, view of the world around him. Enzo’s perceptions of the world, brilliantly told in Costner’s voice, drives the movie like a one of Denny Swift’s (played by Milo Ventimiglia) cars.

The plot points weren’t groundbreaking.  There were complications and obstacles that have been done, especially in dog movies, but just when one started to piece together the predictable plot on one’s own, there was an extended close-up shot of Enzo’s furry face to make people stop caring that they knew how the rest of the story was going to go.  It went in cycles; complication, predictability, and cute dog close-up... awwwww.

Still, it is worth the price of admission. The cast sold the story. They appeared to actually enjoy their story and that made the audience want to like it, too. Every bit of Racing felt genuine and sincere.  It’s lighter fare, a PG movie in a rated R world. It was a pleasant escape. 

The Art of Racing in the Rain is playing everywhere now. Give it a look... and bring tissues. 

1 comment:

  1. aw this film just looks so cute and I think will probably make me cry haha
    Sometimes its nice to just enjoy a lighter fluffy film
    Susan Books Etc


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